NY state senator pitches gadget ban for pedestrians

New York pitches gadget ban for those just walking around.

Barely a day goes by in the Big Apple when we don't see someone get almost hit by a car while mindlessly chatting on a cell phone or listening to an iPod. State Sen. Carl Kruger of Brooklyn thinks this is a big enough problem to propose new legislation aimed at protecting distracted pedestrians.

Kruger's bill, which has not yet been formally introduced, would ban the use of electronic gadgets--including MP3 players and cell phones--by pedestrians using a crosswalk in New York state. Violators would be subject to a $100 fine under the plan.

Kruger told WCBS, "We're talking about people walking sort of tuned-in, and in the process of being tuned-in, (they're) tuned-out...They're walking into speeding cars. They're walking into buses. They're walking into one another, and it's creating a number of fatalities that have been documented right here in the city."

Before you start searching eBay for flesh-colored earphones, remember that many proposed laws never get past the press release phase, much less formally introduced, voted on, or signed into law by, in this case, the Governor (a process aptly described by the Schoolhouse Rock guys).

While the proposal has generated a lot of pressthis morning, Kruger's official New York state senate Web site, last updated in 2005, doesn't mention it.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.


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