Daily Telegraph - Thursday 8 February, 2007

Crackdown on Die-Pods


OFFICIALS worried about pedestrians being run over while listening to iPods and radios are planning to fine anybody who crosses a road wearing such a device $100.

The crackdown is the brainchild of  New York State Senator Carl Krugerm who today said three pedestrians in his Brooklyn district have been killed since September upon stepping into traffic while distracted by an electronic device.

In one case bystanders screamed "watch out" to no avail.

Senator Kruger said he will introduce legislation today to ban the use of gadgets such as iPods, mobile phones, Blackberry devices and video games while crossing the street.

"Government has an obligation to protect its citizenry," Senator Kruger said from Albany, the state capital.

"This electronic gadgetry is reaching the point where it's becoming not only endemic but it's creating an atmosphere where we have a major public safety crisis at hand."

Tech-consuming New Yorkers trudge to work on sidewalks and subways like an army of drones, appearing to talk to themselves on wireless devices or swaying to seemingly silent tunes.

"I'm not trying to intrude on that," Senator Kruger said.

"But what's happening is when they're tuning into their iPod or Blackberry or cell phone or video game, they're walking into speeding buses and moving automobiles. It's becoming a nationwide problem."


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