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New York Considers Pedestrian Ban On iPods In Crosswalks

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New York, my homeland, is considering legislation that would levy a $100 fine for pedestrians who listen to a mobile audio device while crossing the street.

This, in my view, is cruel and unusual punishment for the iPod set. Sure, it's possible that listening to Slayer at 900 decibels might prevent you from seeing that Mack truck just before it splits your dome, but isn't that your decision to make as a pedestrian? Doesn't the pedestrian "always have the right of way," even if they're lost in la la land?

I'm more liberal than not in my political leanings, and I like to think that means respecting the rights of individuals. For the most part, the vast majority of people listen to iPods responsibly: while walking about town, on the subway, crossing the street, and so on.

At some level, people must govern their own actions and act responsibly outside of a set of legal strictures. While I'm not a lawyer, I'd love to see a legal mind argue against this bill with counter-legislation that makes it illegal to listen to the radio above a certain volume level (anyone remember the "red line" on the stereo from one of the opening scenes in Say Anything?).

Engadget has a hilarious picture of a chalk outline of a presumably murdered ipod here.

In sum, to quote Gizmodo: "This has got to be the dumbest ban I've ever heard of."

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  • Janice

    Next thing you know they’ll place a ban on jogging on public streets!

  • Argh, don’t give them any ideas!

  • Here in the UK there has been discussions on pedestrians being fined for crossing the street against the ‘red man’ or as they put it over the water there in the US, ‘Dont Walk’.

    This alone is way too ‘pc’ for me…we would never get anywhere with that attitude. Next thing will be ipods only to be used at home in the comfort of your armchair!

  • You can probably get fined for that in many places in the US now, DM. Fining people for listening to an iPod would be just one more thing that will get rarely enforced except when a cop just really feels like giving some poor pedestrian a hard time.

  • frozenQ

    Why would anyone ban cell-phone use for pedestrians? Why don’t they rather ban cell-phone use for drivers??? How many people actually die using electronics while walking and how many while driving?