Tired Law: Jaywalking. Wired Law: iWalking!

The “Soup Nazi” from “Seinfeld” saying “No iPods for you!”

Remember, we warned you ahead of time: you’re going to hear the phrase “nanny state” bandied about the tech- and gadget-focused sectors of the blogosphere for the next couple of days. That’s because of reports that New York State Senator Carl Kruger is introducing legislation that would make the act of crossing a city street while using a device such as an iPod or cellphone subject to a $100 fine.

The proposed legislation is apparently inspired by two pedestrian deaths in the past five months that took place in the Senator’s district. At least one of these deaths is said to be the result of a person “listening to his iPod”, a situation that the Senator refers to as “iPod oblivion.

In this television news interview, Senator Kruger said:

We’re talking about people walking sort of “tuned in”, and in the process of being tuned in, tuned out. Tuned out to the world around them, so they’re walking into speeding cars, they’re walking into buses, they’re walking into one another…

If you want to listen to your iPod, sit down and listen to it. You want to walk in the park, enjoy it. You want to jog around a jogging path, all the more power to you. But you shouldn’t be crossing streets and endangering yourself and the lives of others.

Engadget has already written what was my first reaction to the story: “If police can’t enforce jaywalking laws in NYC, how could they possibly enforce this?” There are also the logical follow-ups for the proposed law, such as banning any sort of distraction at crosswalks, from involved conversation and arguments to reading material to daydreaming. And hey, you’re just going to have to take down all those Times Square displays while you’re at it.


One reply on “Tired Law: Jaywalking. Wired Law: iWalking!”

N.Y. solon: let’s ban phones, audio in crosswalks…

“A state senator from Brooklyn said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in……

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