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Old 02-07-2007, 06:45 PM   #1
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Law would ban iPods when crossing street

Law would ban iPods when crossing street
By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press Writer

Walk, jog or bicycle across a New York street with an iPod plugged in your ears and you could get slapped with a $100 ticket under a new law proposed by a legislator from Brooklyn.

State Sen. Carl Kruger's bill would also outlaw the use of cell phones, Blackberries, video games or other electronic devices when crossing the street.

He cited the death of a 21-year-old man who was listening to music when he stepped off a curb and was hit by a bus in Brooklyn in September, and the death of a 23-year-old iPod listener last month.

"If you're so involved in your electronic device that you can't see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense," Kruger said.

Jason Koppel, Kruger's chief of staff, said listeners would merely have to pull the earphones out for the few seconds it takes to cross the street.

Kruger said the legislation would be introduced this week.

Charlotte Troisgros, 16, a Manhattan student talking on her cell phone in a crosswalk near City Hall on Wednesday, laughed and said the law may not be such a bad idea.

"You really don't pay attention. You might get hit by a car," she said.

E. Christopher Murray, a civil liberties attorney, said the proposal is excessive.

"With our schools failing, health costs out of control, and crushing property taxes, the legislature would rather play mother by legislating how we cross the street," he said. "What's next? Do you get fined if you don't look both ways?"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070207/...X.p9oPC0dH2ocA
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
"With our schools failing, health costs out of control, and crushing property taxes, the legislature would rather play mother by legislating how we cross the street," he said. "What's next? Do you get fined if you don't look both ways?"
That's what I think. There are more important issues than what you're doing when crossing the street.

I listen to my i-pod whenever I cross the street, and I'm aware of the cars coming, and I can hear them beeping their horns at me (if that happens).
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Law would ban iPods when crossing street

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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


"If you're so involved in your electronic device that you can't see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense," Kruger said.

If you get hit by a car because you're listening to your ipod, well then you deserve it. It's natural selection in action.

Good luck enforcing a law like this.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:30 PM   #4
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When I lived in NYC, back before iPods, I never left my apt without my Walkman. Though I thought I was pretty aware of my surroundings when wearing headphones, on two occasions I narrowly missed getting hit by a bus by a stranger's hands pulling me out of the way. Scary stuff. If anyone had ever warned me that that could happen, I would have laughed and said, "Puh-lease, I'm not stupid, I look before I cross, the volume's not that high, of course I'd hear the horns," blah blah blah, and both times it was very shocking. I could not believe I didn't know I'd stepped off the curb in front of an oncoming bus. Thank God for the kindness of strangers. Don't know how I feel about this law, though. It is a bit like talking on your cell phone while driving.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:37 PM   #5
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Can't drivers listen to music? Are deaf people still allowed to cross the street?

Come the fuck on!!!
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: Law would ban iPods when crossing street

Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


E. Christopher Murray, a civil liberties attorney, said the proposal is excessive.

"With our schools failing, health costs out of control, and crushing property taxes, the legislature would rather play mother by legislating how we cross the street," he said. "What's next? Do you get fined if you don't look both ways?"
I'm gonna have to side with that guy. Basically means you can't listen to your iPod while walking around in the city...lame! I suppose this is like wearing a seatbelt or wearing a helmet but I'm sure if you compare the number of deaths related to not wearing a seatbelt or not wearing a helmet to listening to an iPod while crossing the street, the iPod would come up way short. Sad that it's happened at all, but it's up to the individual to be more careful, not the government.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:18 PM   #7
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i listen to my iPod pretty much constantly ... but i do pause it when i'm at an intersection.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pearl


There are more important issues than what you're doing when crossing the street.

I listen to my i-pod whenever I cross the street, and I'm aware of the cars coming, and I can hear them beeping their horns at me (if that happens).

Having just spent three hours this afternoon with the grieving parents of a 16 year old killed by a hit and run driver, I can't think of too many things more important than what might distract one when crossing the street.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:42 PM   #9
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Well, I guess they should legislate paperbags and loose clothing for attractive people so pedestrians don't get distracted by a pretty girl or good looking guy while crossing the street. People should stop having a conversation while crossing the street too. Oh, and turn off that big tv in Times Square while you're at it.

We are living in the time of the least effective politicians ever, both Canada and the US. Talk, talk, talk and no real concrete changes to benefit society. I guess that requires putting yourself at risk politically which would be bad since it seems that all politicians are in re-election mode on day one after they are elected.

Sorry to hear about the hit and run victim Sylvia but this legislation is unenforceable and ineffective.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:47 PM   #10
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I'm sorry for what happened too, Sylvia. But I feel this enforcement is like taking one's personal freedoms away.

As AtomicBono pointed out, there doesn't appear to be a serious problem with people suffering traffic injuries while listening to their i-pods, or chatting on their cell phones, etc. If studies prove that there is an epidemic of people getting hurt because they are distracted while crossing the street, then maybe I would think this enforcement has a point. But even then, I would still think of it as an invasion of privacy.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:33 PM   #11
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I'm not saying I support legislation for ridiculous things like crossing the street and being on a phone or an i-pod or too much more for that matter. It's like mandating helmets on motorcycles-the injured are so mangled, it really matters not...if there is no helmet at all, perhaps that is kindest.

It really all comes down to personal responsibility, of course. And we Americans don't do that very well. We sue. Even with comparative negligence set-offs, lawsuits ensuing from car accidents becomes an all engrossing national pastime.

In a perfect world, drivers do hit the horn so you know they are there-or you are paying attention to begin with. Someone who breaks the law (by committing a hit and run, and to boot in this case having alcohol involved, but below the legal level-just to complicate the entire tragedy) adds an angle that the responsible person may have thrust upon him/her, and can't control-like children in a car with the windows rolled up-parents are smokers-children have no choice or say in the matter-they are going to get that 2nd hand smoke.

Every day I look up in my rear view mirror to see some gabber on his/her cell phone yakking away, or dialing, or reaching for something, as they get closer and closer to the back end of my car, usually at a pretty fair clip, and I hold my breath, praying and wondering if there will be a collision or if they will STOP?

I want no contact with that car to begin with. Their right to read, listen/do whatever they want to ends about 1 millimeter away from where my car bumper begins.

My position here has been formed by my inclusion, not by my choice, in several very car bad accidents. I know that people don't take personal responsibility, and the ones who get injured or killed as a result of the act or ommission had no choice and no voice in the other's exercise of freedom.

The only remedy we have when injury results is the lawsuit, yes, or jail. Lotta cash, sometimes. Cold comfort most times. I don't think laws in this area will help, I just think they would be another source of revenue for the state. But all I say is the one out walking around with a phone, i-pod, etc. bears heavy responsibility. Just be careful! (Not trying to be smothering here!)
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:18 AM   #12
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:56 AM   #13
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Kind of ridiculous, but you'd think people would have the common sense to pause it, like Irvine said he does (hell, when I go walking in my little suburban area I pause when I cross streets) or take the earbuds out.

But, then again the terms "people" and "common sense" rarely go together anymore.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:51 AM   #14
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When I'm out walking with my iPod on, I keep the volume down enough to be aware of my surroundings. I also will look over my shoulder ever now and then to make sure nobody is sneaking up on me. I'm not paranoid, but I do like to be a little cautious. People need to take more of a responsibility for doing what they can to be safe and alert while out and about...and that's nothing that putting a law like this into place will accomplish.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:00 AM   #15
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I'm not sure how much a law like this would accomplish. It reminds me of laws like eating in the car, or having something hanging from your rear-view mirror. I'd rather have more effort be used towards enforcing laws like seat belt use, because I'm guessing exponentially more people die because they didn't wear a seatbelt than crossing the street with an iPod playing.

I used to bike for 1-3 hours a day and I couldn't do it without going insane unless I had music. However, I've never been able to listen to music while I'm biking in the city - it makes me so nervous not being able to hear well - so I'd bike to a large cemetery, put on my headphones, and bike laps in the cemetery where there weren't going to be buses or other traffic.

People need to just use more common sense and pay a little extra attention when they know they can't hear well.
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