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A fine for using your iPod, cell while walking?

February 7, 2007
That's what one state politician wants

Eyewitness News
(Brooklyn - WABC, February 7, 2007) - A state senator from Brooklyn says he wants to make it illegal to use an iPod, cell phone or blackberry while crossing the street -- this after two pedestrians were killed while using an electronic device.

So can you legislate this?
Eyewitness News political reporter Dave Evans has the story.

They call it 'iPod oblivion' -- when you're talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod while crossing the street.

"It can be a distraction you know but most times I stay alert ... I'm aware of my surroundings," iPod user John Palmer said.

But Albany thinks it's a problem, and so Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn is proposing a law that if anybody uses any kind of electronic device while crossing an intersection, they may face a fine of $100 dollars.

When asked if he has ever used a cell phone crossing the street, Kruger said "absolutely." He added, "That doesn't make it right. If Kruger's bill becomes law I promise I'll adhere to it."

Needless to say in New York City Kruger's proposal isn't going over well.

"I make a living on the phone ... that's what I do. I'm on the phone all the time," Realtor Lisa Conway said.

"This is New York. We're constantly on the cell phones. It's part of life, it's part of business," Realtor Mary Ferraro said.

Even transportation experts say the bill is silly.

"iPods don't kill pedestrians. Cars and trucks kills pedestrians. So instead of blaming the victim, our elected officials should be passing tougher laws for reckless driving," said Paul Steeley White of Transportation Alternatives.

This new law is being proposed because two people were recently hit and killed both in Brooklyn, both listening to music on the headset while crossing the busy intersection.

Still, we couldn't find a single person who thought the bill was a good idea.

(Copyright 2007 WABC-TV)