Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New York To Ban iPods While Crossing Street?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the he-wants-us-to-think-for-ourselves dept.

Handhelds 487

An anonymous reader writes to mention Reuters is reporting that New York State Senator Carl Kruger is looking to institute a $100 fine for using electronic gadgets while crossing the street. Citing three pedestrian deaths in his Brooklyn district as the main driving reason he believe Government has an obligation to protect its citizens. "Tech-consuming New Yorkers trudge to work on sidewalks and subways like an army of drones, appearing to talk to themselves on wireless devices or swaying to seemingly silent tunes. 'I'm not trying to intrude on that,' Kruger said. 'But what's happening is when they're tuning into their iPod or Blackberry or cell phone or video game, they're walking into speeding buses and moving automobiles. It's becoming a nationwide problem.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Natural Selection At Work (4, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926486)

But this is natural selection at work. If you're too stupid to pause your music/chat/game while you're crossing through traffic, you should be removed from the gene pool, and a city bus going 30+ mph is a capable tool for that extraction.

It's just like the government to try to make laws to keep stupid people from killing themselves. How else are we going to evolve as a species if the government tries to legislate out of existence those activities that get people into the Darwin Awards?

- Greg

Re:Natural Selection At Work (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926564)

Yes, the law should mandate bull-bars for all vehicles instead of stopping idiots from removing themselves.

Re:Natural Selection At Work (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927028)

Geez...what's the govt. gonna do next to 'protect' us from ourselves?? Make you wear a seatbelt? Make you wear a helment on a motorcycle? Make you.....oh wait.

Lord...for a grown adult, for goodness sakes, leave us alone. If someone wants to take themselves out by whatever means, it is our body and our right...

And please at least on the motorcycle helmet law and the usual insurance argument. About 3 years ago...our helmet law was re-instated by our incompentent gov. (Blanc-stare), so now if you're on a bike you gotta wear a helmet now. That should save all the public from paying higher insurance rates because of increased safety and survivability right?

Funny...I've yet to see my insurance rates go down......

Re:Natural Selection At Work (0, Troll)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926588)

But this is natural selection at work. If you're too stupid to pause your music/chat/game while you're crossing through traffic, you should be removed from the gene pool, and a city bus going 30+ mph is a capable tool for that extraction.

It's just like the government to try to make laws to keep stupid people from killing themselves. How else are we going to evolve as a species if the government tries to legislate out of existence those activities that get people into the Darwin Awards?


It's arguments like this that make fundamentalist Christians think the theory of evolution is a satanic plot to corrupt our children and turn them into terrorists.

And even if that's not really why, this kind of thinking certainly doesn't help the theory's public image.

Re:Natural Selection At Work (0)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926698)

0 ----------- Joke

  0
-|- ----- you /\

Re:Natural Selection At Work (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926776)

Wow, the joke took his head off and removed him from the gene pool! How apropos.

Re:Natural Selection At Work (4, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926882)

I think you mean...

Joke ---------> *whoosh*
          O <--- You
        --|--
          |
        / \
 


(from SeenOnSlash [seenonslash.com] , which is actually from here [slashdot.org] )

Re:Natural Selection At Work (5, Funny)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926590)

Instead of unfairly penalizing those of us who can listen to music while crossing the street (and, heaven forbid, chewing gum at the same time), why don't you just make it illegal to get hit by a vehicle while crossing the street and using an electronic gadget?

Re:Natural Selection At Work (0)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926642)

Instead of unfairly penalizing those of us who can listen to music while crossing the street (and, heaven forbid, chewing gum at the same time), why don't you just make it illegal to get hit by a vehicle while crossing the street and using an electronic gadget?

Yes, because making suicide illegal has really cut down on that problem.

- Greg

Re:Natural Selection At Work (4, Funny)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926902)

Yes, because making suicide illegal has really cut down on that problem.

That's basically what I was getting at, perhaps my sarcasm was too subtle.

Re:Natural Selection At Work (5, Funny)

Rasit (967850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926976)

Yes, because making suicide illegal has really cut down on that problem.
That's because the punishment is not hard enought, we really need a death penalty on attempted suicide.

Re:Natural Selection At Work (2, Insightful)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926700)

You need to watch Mike Judge's Idiocracy which shows exactly how we're going to evolve.

Why pause? (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926726)

Really, the whole problem is solved by taking a second to glance up and down the street. Heck, it's even solved by not crossing against signals!

You don't even need to go so far as to pause, you just need to look! It's like passing a law fining you $100 for using an oven while also listing to the iPod, just in case you burn yourself!

Re:Why pause? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926872)

Heck, it's even solved by not crossing against signals!
You clearly don't live or work in Manhattan :)

Turning on red while there are pedestrians crossing is the rule, not the exception. Which brings us to the larger point; if they really cared about pedestrian safety, they would start by enforcing existing traffic laws.

Re:Natural Selection At Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926804)

"It's just like the government to try to make laws to keep stupid people from killing themselves."

Product---Producer

Stupid People-------Laws
Laws----------------Government
Government----------Stupid People

iPods Are A Cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926806)


for targeting cell phones re-engineered to perform other tasks generally designed for Middle East use.
I'll let the geniuses at Slashdot figure out what these other tasks are.

Why not ban iPods on car drivers?

Sincerely,
Philboyd Studge

Re:Natural Selection At Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926896)

Let us assume for a moment that these foolhardy gadgeteering footsoldiers have already reproduced, perhaps recently. Their young offspring, in the absence of government social programs and common altruism, would surely perish, thus fulfilling the natural consequence of natural selection.

I do not imagine for a moment, good Sir, that you would advocate such withdrawl. We must not, as a society, step back from preventing or mitigating disaster, so as to further the gene pool. Rather, we must design and evolve better systems, to compensate for the fact that natural selection is broken for the forseeable future.

government might want to step back (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926492)

The government might want to step back up onto the curb on this one. This is legislation and government oversight gone amok.

There probably already are ordinances anyway that cover contributory actions by pedestrians in accidents... even if they happen in a crosswalk.

Regardless, I think the best course would be to absolve motorists of 100% contributory negligence in accidents with pedestrians who are otherwise electronic-gadget engaged while crossing a street or intersection. It is otherwise unnecessary to proscribe pedestrians from using electronic gadgets (and, hey, why just electronic?... what about the dolts who are reading the paper, a magazine, etc. while walking into an intersection?)

There may even be an argument for letting Darwin and evolution taking its course for those who would be so caught up in their ipod, razr, etc. they blindly step into oncoming traffic. Besides, those are the ones who would continue to use and abuse regardless of the ordinances on the books. Does it really make sense to allocate time and energy of law enforcement officials to monitor people and their gadgets? Not so much.

Re:government might want to step back (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926630)

Regardless, I think the best course would be to absolve motorists of 100% contributory negligence in accidents with pedestrians who are otherwise electronic-gadget engaged while crossing a street or intersection.

Why even do that? If the pedestrian has the right of way, he has the right to wear headphones. If he doesn't, than the accident is his fault, headphones or no.

Anyway, the two groups of people I'd single out as particularly strong Darwin Award candidates are 1) bicyclists who wear headphones and 2) the Bostonians who walk down the street reading books.

Re:government might want to step back (4, Funny)

Triv (181010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926794)

Why even do that? If the pedestrian has the right of way, he has the right to wear headphones.

Hahaha. Right of way? Right of way in New York is for tourists and pansies. This thing happens in New York where we, as New Yorkers, walk out into the middle of traffic in a tourist-friendly area (like Rockefeller Center) and watch the tourists instinctually follow us because if we're doing it, it must be safe. Hilarity ensues.

Talking about right of way in New York is a waste of time.

--Triv

Re:government might want to step back (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927000)

this seems like it will end up being a state law. in most states, the driver has the responsibility to stop for a pedestrian in the road and it is generally the driver's fault if they hit a pedestrian, regardless of whether or not the pedestrian was in a crosswalk or crossing when the sign said "don't walk".

personally, i think anyone who is walking/driving/biking/running wearing headphones is stupid. most of those people can't hear what's going on around them enough to react when necessary. people walking and reading isn't a boston thing. it happens in a lot of places (my ex was hit by Janeane Garofalo while walking down 5th ave in NYC... janeane was reading... i was hit by a university police officer at a major university in philly while he was on a motorcycle reading, the bike was moving, i was walking).

the law needs to say that a driver is not liable if a pedestrian jaywalks wearing headphones or reading or talking on the phone, where jaywalking is defined not only as crossing outside a crosswalk (or assumed crosswalk such as at an intersection that doesn't have a crosswalk) but also crossing when the side says "don't walk".

Re:government might want to step back (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926844)

Regardless, I think the best course would be to absolve motorists of 100% contributory negligence in accidents with pedestrians who are otherwise electronic-gadget engaged while crossing a street or intersection.

Um... no. The bottom line is that motorists should be looking out for pedestrians, even if those pedestrians are doing stupid things. That's the responsibility you take on when you gain the privilege of shooting a 5000 lbs hunk of metal around our cities. Why the hell is it so hard for people to accept that driving a car is an inherently dangerous activity, for both the people inside the car and the people outside of the car, and take necessary precautions?

It's one thing if someone literally steps in front of your car and you have no possibility of dodging them-- but that's covered under the law anyhow. If someone jumps in front of your car, gets hit, and dies, you won't be charged with anything. But my your suggestion, motorists would be allowed to mow people down in intersections if they have an iPod. That's stupid.

Re:government might want to step back (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926888)

Regardless, I think the best course would be to absolve motorists of 100% contributory negligence in accidents with pedestrians who are otherwise electronic-gadget engaged while crossing a street or intersection. It is otherwise unnecessary to proscribe pedestrians from using electronic gadgets (and, hey, why just electronic?... what about the dolts who are reading the paper, a magazine, etc. while walking into an intersection?)

I think your point about other distractions is well-taken, from BOTH sides of the debate. If you're going to do it, why should the "traditional" forms of idiocy while walking be excluded? They're just as bad (or worse). But hey, if you're going to take the smaller distraction just because it's "new" then also take out the old.

From the "those with the sense to not walk out in traffic" side, walkman-like device (this is hardly limited to iPods, or even modern equivalents, since the ORIGINAL sony walkman would qualify here) is in one way no more dangerous than a deaf person. You can still be safe with enough care to LOOK. A newspaper or book is actually worse.

Re:government might want to step back (1)

fxk (1061270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926906)

I have two comments: 1: I'm sure there are fines for jay-walking. So you don't need to charge people legally crossing the street for talking on the phone or listening to music or, heck, reading a book. 2: If you are hit by a car while legally crossing the street, does it matter whether you were talking on the phone or reading a book or just lost in your thoughts? Isn't it the driver's fault regardless? But maybe that's just too much common sense to expect from the legislation.

Re:government might want to step back (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926938)

Regardless, I think the best course would be to absolve motorists of 100% contributory negligence in accidents with pedestrians who are otherwise electronic-gadget engaged while crossing a street or intersection.
Even if said motorist was talking on a cell phone? What gadget to blame? It's so hard to choose.

Obligatory. (0)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926494)

"Nothing to hear for you, see? Please move along."

Pedestrians (1)

Ydna (32354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926504)

Yes, it's all the pedestrian's fault they got killed.

Re:Pedestrians (2, Interesting)

LiquidRaptor (125282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926580)

Actually, it is, if they were paying attention and not jaywalking across the street, then there is a good chance the would still be listening to their ipods or whatever. Although, you gotta wonder if the players still work after that. If they do, could be a good advertisement for apple.

Re:Pedestrians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926732)

I'll be right back. I'm going to check the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I'm pretty sure there's something in there that says that people driving cars have more and greater rights than mere pedestrians.

Re:Pedestrians (1)

Ydna (32354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926838)

I agree. I forgot my ultra-witty sarcasm marks. I'm all for natural selection. If only there was an effective way to make natural selection more effective before the critters get into office (as opposed to breeding).

Re:Pedestrians (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926822)

Have you ever been to a big city? The sheer number of pedestrians that cross in the middle of the road or against signals is mind boggling.

Perhaps (1)

fromtheblueline (717915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926512)

The drivers of vehicles should be a bit more aware and give right away to pedestrians. They are smaller and squishier, after all.

Re:Perhaps (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926662)

Never been to Manhattan, eh? If drivers gave all right of way to pedestrians at all times the city would literally come to a standstill. It may work in Connecticut, but never in NYC.

Re:Perhaps (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926686)

Pedestrians are smaller than busses right now, but have you been to a Wal-Mart recently? This trend will not continue.

Blind? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926518)

Seriously, I cross streets with my music on all the time but I tend to look both ways and watch the crosswalk signals.

Would this man suggest that the deaf can't cross streets either?

Idiot Tax? (2, Insightful)

adambha (1048538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926528)

It seems more like a tax for being stupid and/or irresponsible than a true 'safety' concern for citizens.

Responsibility (5, Insightful)

Pentavirate (867026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926536)

So when do we start requiring people to start taking responsibility for themselves?

Re:Responsibility (1)

Quaz and Wally (1015357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926680)

Probably as soon as we start taking responsibility for our actions. I'm surprised this law wasn't spurred by some lawsuit against Ipods for blocking out noises that would otherwise warn us of danger. People have sued for just about everything else.

Re:Responsibility (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926730)

When we don't live in NY. NYC seems to be going overboard lately. Instead of informing the public there is unhealthy stuff in some of the food they just ban it outright.

Sounds like... (4, Insightful)

ArcSecond (534786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926540)

Darwinism to me. Why the hell would you outlaw this? If people want to walk around with sunglasses at night, you gonna ticket them, too?

I thought Americans were rabid about maintaining their freedoms. Recently, it looks like they have just rolled over and played dead when they are taken away. Maybe they should promote this law as a way to improve national security, then everyone would probably eat it up with a spoon.

Re:Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926644)

I thought Americans were rabid about maintaining their freedoms. Recently, it looks like they have just rolled over and played dead when they are taken away. Maybe they should promote this law as a way to improve national security, then everyone would probably eat it up with a spoon.
Well..'we' are. Its the liberal commie politicians (And the dolts that vote for em) that are forcing us into thumbsucking droids.

Unless it's turrists! (3, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926850)

Please, the conservative authorotarian politicians took away plenty of freedoms in the name of 'Protection from Terrorism' and 'Protection from Drug Users'.

They all do it, because there are plenty of Americans on both sides of the coin who crave to be told what to do.

Re:Sounds like... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926658)

> I thought Americans were rabid about maintaining their freedoms.

No, they're rabid about going on about how great the freedoms someone else has won are, but they're not doing quite such a good job hanging on to them.

Re:Sounds like... (1)

boston2251 (1033620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926718)

definitely.....there's how many billion people out there...we gotta weed out the stupid ones somehow..hopefully the ones that get run over by a bus or cab are the same assholes who don't even take out their ipods to order coffee, pay in stores etc. are we that addicted to top 40 hits people?

Laws not in yet (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926780)

I thought Americans were rabid about maintaining their freedoms. Recently, it looks like they have just rolled over and played dead when they are taken away.

Not at all true, Americans are rabid about maintaining freedoms. But there will also be idiots like these looking to chip away at real freedoms, and eventually they fail.

The law is not passed yet and I don't see where it would be.

Re:Sounds like... (5, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926916)

If people want to walk around with sunglasses at night, you gonna ticket them, too?

Yes, people who have Corey Hart songs on their iPod should get two tickets.

Re:Sounds like... (1)

ArcSecond (534786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927058)

This one actually made me ell out ell.

Nice one, brother! :)

Bored politicians = bad (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926542)

While I do agree that the government had a duty to protect citizens from each other (within a reasonable limit), I am strongly against the government protecting people from themselves. If you can't handle walking, listening to music, and looking both ways before you cross, then it's probably a good thing you're leaving my gene pool. This level of protectionism only encourages incompetence because people will eventually get the mindset of "Well, the government hasn't banned it, so it can't be harmful".

the other thing that strikes me is how in the heck are they going to enforce this? More likely, it will be used by the cops as an excuse to haul someone in that looks suspicious, but they can't prove is doing anything wrong.

Re:Bored politicians = bad (1)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926648)

Ha, the fedral law against commiting suicide is about the same.

Darwin says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926554)

EVOLUTION BABY! ...this is just natural selection at work

Why not outlaw talking while crossing the street. (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926558)

'But what's happening is when they're talking to their spouses, children or friends, they're walking into speeding buses and moving automobiles. It's becoming a nationwide problem.'

natural selection? (1)

LesFerg (452838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926568)

If people can't use the most basic common sense maybe the gene pool won't be losing out too much.
How can we seriously expect to start making laws about every little act of stupidity, or simple carelessness, that people could possibly indulge in?

That guys time and money would be better spent in trying to get some basic life skills and common sense hammered into peoples heads at an earlier stage in life.

How Many Killed Eating While Crossing? (3, Insightful)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926582)

I bet if you add up the totals, I bet as many or more people were killed in the middle of eating or drinking something while they walked across the street, but I don't see calls to ban that.

Ban smoking, ban drugs, ban "hateful" speech, ban trans-fats, ban iPods, ban anything the Nannystate says might let you hurt yourself. How long will it take people to realize that government exists to protect us from other people, not from ourselves?

Crow T. Trollbot

Re:How Many Killed Eating While Crossing? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926696)

Smoking hurts people who don't wish to partake. So in that instance banning smoking is protecting me from other people.

Re:How Many Killed Eating While Crossing? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926788)

I can assure you that if you live within 15 miles of ANYWHERE in this country that has a population of more than 200 (and is not Lancaster, PA) you are inhaling much worse shit than what is coming off the lit-end of a cig.

Re:How Many Killed Eating While Crossing? (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926790)

government exists to protect us from other people, not from ourselves?

I agree with you... but just to play devil's advocate for a second here:
When someone creates a traffic accident, it endangers them, but it also endangers everyone else in the vicinity. A car swerving to miss an inattentive pedestrian may hit another (more attentive) pedestrian, or another car, or whatever. A traffic accident can quickly escalate and involve many people/cars. When people drive unsafely, for instance, they are not just putting themselves in danger, but everyone else on the road, too.

That having been said, I'm not convinced that 'inattentive pedestrians' are a sufficient menace to public safety that we need special laws to bring them under control.

Odd (4, Informative)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926594)

When I am out walking wearing headphones I find myself looking back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth multiple times when crossing a street because I am accustomed to relying upon hearing to augment sight. I almost feel blind when I can't also hear the traffic. Something tells me this law won't help. As a wise man once said, "you can't make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious".

go figure (0, Offtopic)

cpearson (809811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926596)

Fines or listening to your ipod while crossing streets and yet no fine to cab drivers with rank b.o.

Windows Vista Help Forum [vistahelpforum.com]

Logical fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926602)

The overwhelming sentiment here is that the motorist is at fault, not the iPod user. But the same people here with this sentiment are the first to blame guns when a person is shot. Can someone explain this to me?
   

Re:Logical fallacy (1)

david_bonn (259998) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926692)

I don't know.

Auto accidents kill far, far more people than iPod accidents do. I can see that combinations of the two would be more dangerous.

Maybe the solution is to outlaw automobiles. Think of the benefits... less obesity, no auto accidents, reduced pollution and global warming risk...

Re:Logical fallacy (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926724)

"Because guns kill!"

No, a gun is a piece of metal. That is it. It is absolutely nothing more. I could kill you with my finger if I wanted to, I sure as hell don't need a gun to do that.

All I say to those that are for gun control to look at Washington, DC...my hometown. It is illegal to own a handgun and we are the gun-murder capital of the USA.

Fuck I hate ignorance.

perhaps not legislation (1)

luckyguesser (699385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926614)

I haven't read any of the comments, so forgive me if I'm being repetitious. (Also, like a typical /.er, I haven't RTFA)

This is a prime example of a situation where a public awareness program would actually be much more beneficial to the people, but passing a law with a menial fine instead means a money-making opportunity.

I don't know about you, but if I were in the habit of walking across the street with my MP3 player going full blast, getting a fine by some bored, under-quota police officer is not going to seriously encourage me to be safer when crossing the street. It's just going to put me in a bad mood, and give me a thinner wallet.

However, some creatively done advertising that informs me that "x number of people die each year when crossing the street because they can't hear the traffic barreling down on them" might catch my attention. That way, I also don't have to be spiteful to the bureaucratic mess that is the civil judicial system.

Re:perhaps not legislation (1)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926890)

This is interesting. So you're saying that negative economic consequences would not impact your behavior, nor would the potential threat to your life or health if you were one of these careless people. Does this not imply that the fine should be raised to ruinous levels? Proponents of free markets always say that one should charge what the market will bear. If 200 dollars won't do it, what about 5000? If people were being bankrupted by crossing streets with mp3 players, would their behavior change? If not, does it not behoove the government to extract as much value as possible from the person to cover the presumed future taxes they won't be paying as roadkill, or to cover their future care needs if they become a disabled? Just playing devil's advocate here, I don't really support these fines at all.

next.... (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926626)

...we can pass a law mandating fines for not being aware of your surroundings. No electronic devices while crossing the street? Be realistic! If we are really concerned with people getting hit by cars while they are crossing the streets, maybe we should find ways to slow the cars down.

Even if you're not on a cell phone or listening to your iPod you can still be killed by a car.

Natural Selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926628)

This is Natural Selection at work and legislation like this is going to turn us into a Hockey Helmet Nation. I say we encourage the dumb to step in front of bus's, after all, these Dolts are breathing MY air!

Address the other factors (5, Insightful)

Sierran (155611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926636)

This seems to assume that the iPods were the proximate cause of these pedestrians' deaths. What were the full circumstances? i.e. were they jaywalking? Were the vehicles moving against traffic regulations? While I may not like current NYC traffic regs, they do presently exist for that purpose. If the pedestrians were in a crosswalk, moving with the light, then *technically* it's not their responsibility to avoid traffic - it's the vehicle's responsibility to avoid them, according to NY State law. If they *weren't* in a crosswalk and moving with a light, they were *already* in violation of traffic regulations for which they can be punished, iPod/gadget or no. Why another whole layer of government legislation to interfere with my behavior which, if I'm obeying the law, does nothing but raise my personal risk vs. others (drivers) who aren't?

Won't work (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926646)

If these idiots are too distracted to look out for buses, they surely won't think to take their iPod off when crossing the street. Another worthless law. It seems that we have to have a law for absolutely everything these days.

How about the death penalty (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926660)

for those idiots walking along, staring at their cell phones and not looking where they're going? Often also seen dragging their briefcase on wheels behind them, so the rest of us can trip over it. And then they stop dead in front of a revolving door to fold it up, or at the top of a flight of stairs to unfold it. ARRRRGHGG!!

innocent iPods...phones.. (1)

Unlikely_Hero (900172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926706)

I think people who are going to go and play in traffic should be required to put their nifty things into a big box beforehand so that those of us who don't walk into moving traffic for fun can still find use in their stuff.
It's not the iPod's fault its owner is a moron.

Relevance? (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926708)

Let me get this straight:

If I have the right of way (i.e., I am at a cross walk, and the WALK sign is on), and I get hit by a car while crossing the street, this is clearly not my fault, and any amount of cell phone talking or iPod listening is entirely irrelevant.

If I do not have the right of way (e.g., jay-walking), and I get hit by a car, it is my own damned fault, but the problem is the fact that I jay-walked, not the fact that I was listening to a bloody iPod!

Jay-walking is already illegal, there's no reason for this law.

Re:Relevance? (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926898)

I am at a cross walk, and the WALK sign is on

Say, those WALK signs are electronic gadgets that the pedestrians are using....

How many times?! (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926744)

You can't legislate stupidity!

Re:How many times?! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926814)

> You can't legislate stupidity!

No, but stupidity can legislate.

Re:How many times?! (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926816)

You can't legislate stupidity!
Maybe not but New York State Senator Carl Kruger sure is trying!

Re:How many times?! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926868)

But you can legislate stupidly.

Ban driving (1)

280Z28 (896335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926748)

Take care of the few pedestrians in danger from this, along with the hundreds of others killed because they were in the road a car. We all win!

don't waste our time (1)

justdrew (706141) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926754)

don't waste our time with this. this proposal is going nowhere and you know it.

Just give them a Darwin Award (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926760)

Just give them a Darwin Award (posthumously, of course; they all are) and move on. I figure they are doing the rest of the species a favor by taking themselves out of the gene pool. Hopefully they've been too distracted to reproduce already.

I suppose the real problem (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926770)

Is that New York is a city of idiots. Or at least, that's what they're politicians have us believe. I strongly suspect that even the most illiterate New Yorker is capable of crossing the street and talking on a cell phone. And you would think that of all people, politicians would be doing this the most often.

I suppose the real problem is that we live in a society where idiot laws like this can get passed, and the general public thinks "It's for the safety of the people".

It's about revenue, folks. Specifically, non-tax revenue, which works out well for "We don't raise taxes on the working-man" republicans, and the "Think of the children!" democrats.

It's just like the red light cameras - which actually increased traffic accidents because of the unforeseen side effect that people would now stop at yellow lights if there was a camera at the intersection.

All about the revenue. Who cares about your freedoms, anyway?

Re:I suppose the real problem (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926864)

Heck, I can't even get their and they're right, and I can cross the street while talking on a cellphone.

Re:I suppose the real problem (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927040)

On the phone their "they're"s and "theirs" are all the same, so it's not a problem. It's just on /. that they can't cross the street safely.

What about the deaf? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926786)

I mean, they can't listen to iPods while crossing the street, but they obviously haven't had a problem with getting themselves killed crossing traffic by not listening to oncoming cars.

A better solution would be two-fold:

  1. A "three strikes" law that would immediately remove from office any politician that proposed stupid crap like this three times during their lawmaking career.
  2. The immediate sterilization of all parents whose children have been found to lack basic common sense.

wouldn't be enforced anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926802)

Similar legislation already exists to prevent the use of electronic gear while driving. These laws are almost universally ignored. Well over half of all NYC drivers are talking on a (non-hands-free) cellphone at any given time.

Why should we expect that a pedestrian ban would have a higher enforcemet level?

The Nanny State (1)

Kurt Wall (677000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926818)

...begins in New York, evidently.

Stupid Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926836)

Yeah, let's start collecting fines for ALL the stupid things people do. Wow, the income from politicians alone would wipe out the national debt!

What about deaf people? (1)

jbrandv (96371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926880)

They can't hear the traffic either. Let's just make deafness illegal! Morons.

Only 3? (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926920)

Only three people have been killed because they didn't look to see if there was oncoming traffic? Man, we ought to make iPods compulsory to improve the gene pool.

btw - joke

What about push-to-hear? (1)

AEther141 (585834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926926)

Shure offer headphones [earphonesolutions.com] with a button that shuts off the music and feeds in sound from outside. I use Grado [gradolabs.com] headphones which are open-backed; they don't attenuate outside sounds at all, I can hear the outside world through them perfectly clearly and hold a conversation normally, just with music superimposed onto my hearing. Why should sensible, responsible users of headphones be penalised because some idiots listening to earbuds at deafening levels [startribune.com] walk into oncoming traffic? Hell, why are the authoritarian fuckwits running New York seemingly outlawing everything they even vaguely disapprove of?

as one who walks all the time (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926944)

I tried wearing an MP3 while walking to work, but it was too distracting.

I live in a rural town and found the headphones way too distracting, as I could not concentrate on the what was going on around me. If I was running in the park or something that's a different matter, as I don't expect a fright or logging truck to not notice me and run me over. But on the partly sidewalkless streets here, you got to be aware of whats going on.

Though I think drivers are given way to much percived right of way than pedestrians, (it may say peds have it the law books, but not in real life). Not more than a week ago one kid in town got hit by a car while crossing the street to go to school (Caltrans took out many of the cross walks as it 'instilled a false sense of security', and are reluctant to put in a stop light else truck drivers would complain about stopping on a grade.).

I don't get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926972)

People have been using portable audio players since the late seventies. Before the iPod, there was the Sony Walkman and assorted knockoffs that were (and still are) commonplace with city dwellers all over the country. I find it hard to believe that people are more careless now than they have been for the last 25 years when listening to their portable music players and crossing a street.

easy solution (3, Funny)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926974)


If one pedestrian in fifty had a couple of kilos of nitro-glicerine (sp?) in their backpack, no pedestrian would ever be hit again.

"OMG it's a pedestrian - look out!!!" ;-)

wouldn't it make more sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17926986)

...to ban people from listening to their ipods while driving their cars? if two people are listening to music and they walk into each other, no big deal- but if two people are listening to music and they *drive* into each other (or another person), well....that's how accidents happen.

The Zen will not be banned.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17927010)

Most likely because nobody in New York ever heard of it!

Why not just turn the volume down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17927032)

How loud can your headphones be that you don't notice the honking of horns and screaching of brakes as the bus tries not to mow you down?

It takes two... (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927034)

In pedestrian vs. car accidents, the obvious victim is the pedestrian who suffers, likely, severe physical trauma. But the driver also suffers psychological damage when they strike, and possibly kill, a pedestrian.

If requiring people to remove their earbuds for the period of a minute to cross the street for the sake of two people's health, why the hell not?

coincidence (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927036)

People get hit all the time by cabbies, drives not looking, etc- pedestrians often look both ways (if they look at all) but then walk out without paying attention again. I have to wonder, of the 3 deaths, how many just happened to have an ipod, but it would have happened either way?

Ultimately, the drivers are 100% responsible and need to be watching for anything that might come in front of the car- forget if people aren't supposed to go or are supposed to pay better attention- be prepared to stop at any time.

I heart NY (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927042)

But, come ON! More goofy laws enacted by the same state that made pinball machines illegal during the 60s. I'm moving to NY so they can protect me from myself! I sound dangerous. Besides, anyone who continually fusses with their tech while walking thru intersections deserves to be run over. The next of kin can now use their iPod. Problem solved. Next!

Must be a slow law year.

Punishing the victim (1)

driptray (187357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927060)

A pedestrian wearing an ipod doesn't put anybody else in danger. A person driving a car, ipod or not, puts a lot of other people in danger.

Why punish the victims of other people's dangerous behaviour?

Not to be cruel, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17927062)

While I certainly feel bad for a careful car driver or mass transit operator that has to deal with the horror of someone walking in front of their vehicle, perhaps it's not a bad thing being rid of people that are so engrossed with their gadgets that they walk into traffic.

What about in cars? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17927076)

Out here in N. Calif, I see droves of people everyday listening to their iPODs while driving or riding their bike...

God loves the marines, b/c we keep heaven.... FULL.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?