Beware of the Nanny State: Ban Proposed On Walking & Listening to MP3 Players

Lyndon Johnson used to claim that Gerald Ford couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but a New York State Senator is taking this a bit too far. Karl Kruger has proposed legislation to “ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in New York City and Buffalo.”

NewsChannel 4 reported that Sen. Carl Kruger is proposing the ban in response to two recent pedestrian deaths in his district, including a 23-year-old man who was struck and killed last month while listening to his iPod on Avenue T and East 71st Street In Bergen Beach.

“While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they’re tuning out the world around them,” Kruger said. The proposed law would make talking on cell phones while crossing the street a comparable offense to jaywalking.

There’s some justification for limiting use of cell phones while driving, but this is going way too far. From what I’ve seen when visiting Manhattan, I just don’t think that New Yorkers can survive walking the streets without a cell phone in one hand and a cup of Starbucks in the other.

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