Senator Kruger Wants to Fine Those Who Walk and Text


cell-phoneMany pedestrians pay more attention to their phones and portable media players than their safety while crossing streets. New York State Senator Carl Kruger said recently, for instance, that two people died in┬áhis Brooklyn district because they were distracted on the street by personal electronic devices.A gentleman was standing on the corner ready to cross the street wired into his iPod, he crosses over and walks right into an NYC bus,” Kruger, a Democrat, said.

After the incident, lawmakers turned their attention to increasing safety for pedestrians with electronic devices. New York and Arkansas have proposed legislation that would ban the use of portable electronic devices and cell phones at crosswalks. If caught, violators could be fined $100.

Cathy Cruz Marrero, the Pennsylvania woman who fell into a mall fountain recently while texting, not only learned her lesson but passed along some words of wisdom.

“Don’t text and walk,” Marrero said to “Good Morning America” last week.

Her situation may seem funny but, in some cases, it’s no laughing matter.

Nationally, pedestrian fatalities account for about 12 percent of overall traffic deaths, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. There was a slight increase in 2010 after four straight years of a steady decline.

In Hilton Head, S.C., Robert Gary Jones died in March when a glider plane crashed-landed on the beach while he was jogging. Investigators believe he never heard it approach because he was listening to an electronic devise.

But aviation expert Mary Schiavo said Jones was unlikely to hear the plane with or without music playing in his ears.

“There’s no noise,” Schiavo, a former inspector general for the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Associated Press. “So the jogger, with his ear buds in, and the plane without an engine, you’re basically a stealth aircraft. Who would expect to look up?”

Jones was exercising during a business trip and was looking forward to returning home that week for his daughter’s third birthday party.

The dangers of getting lost in electronic devices are real but many people admit they still do it. When asked if he texts and crosses the street often, one pedestrian told ABC News, “Yeah, sometimes.”

He also admitted that he he’s distracted while doing it.

“I’m not looking and hearing, I’m somewhere else,” he said.

Another pedestrian, told that listening to his player and walking across the street could someday be illegal, said, “That’s ridiculous. Why?

“I can still hear you perfectly. I mean, it’s not that loud.”

{ABC News/}


  1. I think this is one of the most pressing issues in the state of New York. we should forget about everything and make sure to pass this law ASAP.
    (do they really have nothing better to do with their time its unreal )

  2. What about daydreaming? When will that become illegal? Can you read a book or newspaper while walking, or is that illegal? Talking on the phone is also distracting. Please outlaw that in the streets, as well. And, sneezing or coughing really takes your attention away…don’t walk the street when you have a bad cold (how bad is bad?) you get the idea. This is pathetic.

  3. Are they now going to also ban deaf people from walking the streets? After all they can’t hear with or without music playing in their ears.

  4. To #1,2,4:
    This is NOT A JOKE! People who walk the streets or drive while texting, listening to music with their ears shut off from the world are not only putting their lives in danger but, in fact, are endangering the lives of EVERYONE around them! A young women (I believe she is between 19-20 years old) in my area of Brooklyn is presently facing jail time because she KILLED SOMEONE (a man riding a bike) because she was BUSY using her cell phone. WHILE SHE WAS DRIVING!!!!!! FACTS ARE FACTS!!!!! Imagine if it was your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend, chas veshalom, being the victim of that careless texter/cell phone user!!! “Sorry” does’nt cut it once the damage is done, lo aleinu! Get with the program and don’t be an idiot!!! The only reason we need laws to restrict people from using their devices is that they don’t have enough common sense to control themselves and know that there is a right and wrong time for EVERYTHING!!!! It only takes 1 second to KILL SOMEOME!!! I know families who have nebech suffered this terrible tragedy.

    #1, 2, 4….WISE UP IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU……and for everyone else!

  5. I am #2 and I could not agree with you more. Texting, talking on the phone, IPODs are VERY dangerous-but you can’t substitute common sense and personal responsibility with handing out fines! People need to stop doing all of the above (except maybe catching cold) ON THEIR OWN. Fining is not the answer. If a person is not afraid of getting killed or killing someone while texting, why would the possibility of getting a fine stop them?

  6. TO #5: moichel! BTW,I was not offended. But I can tell you this: this new annoying phenomemnon of self-absorption wherein people cannot walk the streets without using their cell phones (all of us must “listen” to their conversations whether we want to or not) is incredible! I would be very rich if I had a dollar for every inconsiderate person I see walking the streets with their IPODs, MP3s, cell phones, etc. plugged into their ears forcing everyone else to be on much higher alert. I have, on MANY occasions while I was driving, had to beep several times to alert a pedestrian that he/she is CROSSING THE STREET WHEN THEY HAVE A RED LIGHT AND UNABLE TO FOCUS ON ANYTHING ELSE BUT THEIR “EAR EXTENSION”!!!! Yes, if it takes a fine to teach people to “disconnect” ….whatever works!!!