Why Did the iPod Listener Cross the Road?

If a New York senator has his way, it’s probably to get away from a member of the NYPD.

In the early ’90s I lived in New York City for a few months while serving an internship. I love New York. I loved how people just went about their business, paying little attention to strangers around them. Race, fashion, religion, whatever — it didn’t matter. Everyone was a New Yorker, first and foremost.

But my second favorite thing about NYC at the time was the freedom. Drugs, of course, were/are illegal, but cops didn’t seem to pay much attention to small timers and you could get anything you wanted at any hour. A heavy drinker at the time, I also really loved the fact that you could walk down the street with an open beer in a paper bag. You could get ticketed but, again, cops seemed to have more important things to worry about.

Speaking of … with all the things going on in the world, you’d think sterilizing New York would be a low priority. But since I lived there, you can now no longer smoke in bars. And even trans-fats have been outlawed in the city. Now, a Democratic senator from Brooklyn wants to tell people in the state when they can listen to their iPods.

According to reports, Senator Carl Kruger has proposed a law that would make it illegal to cross a street while wearing an iPod (or using a cell phone, Blackberry or other distracting devices). If the law were to pass, violators would be slapped with a $100 fine (that’s roughly the equivilant of TEN downloads of Fergie’s solo album on iTunes!). Kruger proposed the bill after two pedestrians were killed while crossing the street using electronic devices.

Kruger told New York’s WCBS that people using iPods and cell phones are “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 .” Uh, are people listening to iPods with their eyes?

What has happened to my beloved New York? And where is the line drawn when it comes to the government’s meddling to “protect” all of us? Skyline could probably kill you if you ate too much, too often — will Cincy police one day be out looking for serial coney eaters?

— Mike Breen

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One Comment on “Why Did the iPod Listener Cross the Road?”

  1. userfriendly Says:

    As an admirer of New York myself, I agree such a law would be very anti the vibe of the city. Besides, it’s not a bad way to thin the herd.


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