You are busy chatting away on your Blackberry on your way to class one day when suddenly a policeman pulls you over. Confused as to the cop’s intention, you get off the phone. He comes up and writes you a ticket for a whopping $100. You look down and are shocked at the reason. You just got fined for talking on your phone while crossing the street.
To the pedestrians of the bigger metropolises such as New York, this could be a future possibility; State Senator Carl Kruger wants to ban the use of electronic devices while crossing streets, according to CNET News. The revival of the bill’s proposal spawns from the growing number of people distracted by devices such as mp3 players and cell phones.
Lawmakers have already prohibited texting and talking on the phone while driving in several states. Now political figures in states such as New York, California, Oregon and Virginia want to take this idea a step further and fine cyclists, joggers and pedestrians as well.
Due to rising gas prices and job layoffs, more and more people are forced to use walking or biking as primary sources of transportation. While the law wouldn’t prohibit this basic activity, it would take away some type of pleasure an individual might find in listening to his or her music or talking on the phone.
When you are driving, you are in a position to put another person’s life at risk. Considering this fact, it is understandable that drivers have been cracked down on for cell phone use. At least they still have their radios to listen to and have the ability to talk on their phones through their car speakers. If the bill in New York passes, the people without cars won’t even have that.
Whether you are on foot or riding on two wheels, your life is at the mercy of speeding, crazy drivers. It is your responsibility to observe and be alert to your surroundings. Half the time, people in cars are not paying any attention to you; you have to pay attention to them. If you can’t do this while you talk on the phone or listen to your iPod, then you shouldn’t be doing these things to begin with.
From a personal standpoint, I walk quite often. After a long day of classes or a shift at work, listening to artists like Lily Allen or Lillix is the only thing to keep me going. If I couldn’t listen to my mp3 player, I probably would just take the bus all the time and would miss out on half of the exercise that I would get otherwise.
The same goes with talking on my cell phone. Being far from home, I rarely see my family and sometimes walking to class from my apartment is the only time I can talk to them.
I understand why Sen. Kruger is concerned. It’s wonderful that he cares so much about the safety of his state, especially one as populated as New York. However, it is up to the individual pedestrian or cyclist to look out for his or her own safety. If he or she can do that with the play of electronic devices, then that is his or her own choice. It is a personal liberty and therefore, should not be taken away.