Distracted Moving

iPod crackdown

After a 30-year decline in pedestrian deaths on America's roadways, there was a tiny increase of 0.4 percent in the first half of 2010. Deciding that cell phones and iPods are to blame, New York state Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) has introduced a bill making it a crime to use them or other electronic devices while crossing the street.

"When people are doing things that are detrimental to their own well-being," Kruger told The New York Times in January, "then government should step in." Other legislators agree. Arkansas state Sen. Jimmy Jeffress (D-Crossett) has proposed a law that would prohibit pedestrians and joggers from using headphones. Lawmakers in Oregon, Virginia, and California have introduced laws banning "distracted bicycling."

Meanwhile, a 2010 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that laws banning text messaging while driving have made roads more dangerous. The institute surmises that drivers don't stop texting because of the laws, but they do move their cell phones away from the windows, which takes their eyes further from the road. 

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  • Deborah||

    I can understand the concern about texting while driving a car. Keeping your eyes on something other than the road while operating something that can kill or permanently injure another in a millisecond is stupidity at it's best (or worst)? It's too bad there have to be laws and penalities for this, but for walking, jogging, or riding a bike? 99% of any hurt or problem from these "distractions" will be only to the person who is using them. It is NOT the responsibility or "right" of the state to act as a nanny. New York is rapidly becoming a prime example of Orwellian bureaucracy, And any other that follows it's lead should also be exposed as such. Let people make their choices,enjoy what they want, and make their own mistakes and learn from them. Oh, and by the way,Senator Kruger,I wear hearing aids in both ears. These are electronic devices that constantly channel in sound, so will it be committing a crime for me to wear and use them when I cross a street in NYC?

  • ||

    This is good news! I'll share my little secret, I ride my crotch rocket with an earbud in each ear; in Illinois it's only legal to have an earbud in only one ear. shhh....hehe.

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