According to Carl Kruger, a state senator from Brooklyn, New York, you are too stupid to cross a street while talking on a cell phone. Therefore, Carl wants to save New York pedestrians by passing a law making it illegal to use an electronic device while crossing a street on foot. Some are calling it the iPod Bill.
A recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, blames a 0.4% increase in pedestrian fatalities on electronic distractions, such as mobile phones and iPods, even though the causes haven’t been proven. Maybe there are actually more people on foot because of the 8.2% New York unemployment rates? Maybe people are walking more to avoid the higher gas prices?
Like many bright politicians, Senator Kruger keeps an eye out for any potential problems that might kill any future voters. He was quoted by the New York Times as saying “We’re taught from knee-high to look in both directions, wait, listen and then cross. You can perform none of those functions if you are engaged in some kind of wired activity.”
Did we elect officials like Kruger to protect us from common every day activities, instead of doing things like balancing the state budget? It’s possible that the Senator believes that the $100 fines collected from violators of this new law might offset the current $64.8 billion dollar New York state debt.
These fines might provide the money needed to hire more police. The additional police could patrol the crosswalks so that they can collect even more fees. The average New York municipal policeman’s salary is about $60, 000. The cop would only have to bust about 600 people a year to break even. That sounds reasonable, right?
If this law is passed and deemed successful, maybe we’ll start seeing even better laws. Should senators chew gum while walking?