The Nanny Statists take aim at jogging with your iPod:
The ubiquity of interactive devices has propelled the science of distraction — and now efforts to legislate against it — out of the car and into the exercise routine. In New York, a bill is pending in the legislature's transportation committee that would ban the use of mobile phones, iPods or other electronic devices while crossing streets — runners and other exercisers included. Legislation pending in Oregon would restrict bicyclists from using mobile phones and music players, and a Virginia bill would keep such riders from using a "hand-held communication device." In California, State Senator Joe Simitian, who led a successful fight to ban motorists from sending text messages and using hand-held phones, has reintroduced a bill that failed last year to fine bicyclists $20 for similar multitasking.
This is all reaction to a tiny increase (0.4 percent) in pedestrian fatalities over the first half of last year. Never mind that the increase came only after a 30-year free-fall during which pedestrian fatalities halved, or that said free-fall happened during a period when cell phones and personal music devices went from nonexistent to ubiquitous.
Politicians never let logic get in the way of banning stuff. We've seen the same dramatic fall in automobile fatalities over the same period, for example, but that hasn't stopped Transportation Ray LaHood, aided by a hysterical media, from going bonkers over distracted driving.