NYC Lawmaker Proposes Ban On Talking And Walking

$100 Fine If Caught With iPod, Cell Phone Crossing The Street

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After targeting distracted drivers, some New York lawmakers want to go after distracted walkers. They are looking to ban them from using iPods, music players and cell phones while walking and crossing the street.

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At E.A.T. restaurant on Madison Avenue they still haven’t gotten over the death of co-worker Jason King, killed last month while listening to his iPod as he crossed the street in a crosswalk with a green light in his direction.  Jason was run over by a truck that was backing up.

“He was everything to us. He was always laughing, always in a good mood,” co-worker Nunny Sanchez told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“We all miss him dearly like crazy. He was the light of E.A.T. I miss him a lot,” Josephina Medina added.

Jason was just 21 and his death and along with other accidents involving people using electronic gadgets while walking is why Brooklyn Sen. Karl Kruger is looking to ban things like cell phones and iPods for pedestrians crossing the street.

“We have people who are literally dying in the street,” Kruger said.

Dying, Kruger said, not because they are distracted drivers but because they are distracted walkers. Charles Tabasso, 14, admitted he’s one of them because he listens to his iPod constantly.

“I would probably get run over right now if it weren’t for my awesome parents,” Tabasso said.

His mom agreed.

“As a parent I am definitely in favor of banning these things,” Tullia Tabasso said.

The proposal was triggered by accidents like a woman tripping into a fountain while texting, but not everyone thinks the ban is a good idea, even King’s co-workers.

“I mean I, myself, I walk around in the street hearing music because I don’t want to hear nobody around me or nothing,” Medina said.

“I think it’s terrible. Come on. We need something to keep our mind occupied while we’re walking to work,” said Luevonia Simmons of Old Bridge, N.J.

Some said they object to the move as an intrusion by government into the everyday lives of people — the nanny state syndrome.

“When people are doing things that are detrimental to their own well being, then government should step in,” Kruger said.

The fine for violating the law would be $100, which supporters hope will be enough to stem what they think is a disturbing trend — a slight increase in fatalities.

An Arkansas lawmaker who had proposed as similar bill dropped it Monday. He said he didn’t think it had a chance of passing, but had brought needed attention to the issue.

More from Marcia Kramer


    • nuts4bols

      nah next we need a licence to cross the street

  • John

    What a country. Using this logic, it should also be illegal to talk to anybody around you as you walk down the street.

    • Teresa

      That is NOT the same thing. When you talk to someone on the phone, you are distracted because you are trying to visualize the person on the other end, as many studies have shown. Talking to someone next to you is NOT as distracting, so stop with the silly apples to oranges comparison.
      Whatever your opinion on the law, I’ve been down to NYC and I noticed how pedestrians with their faces buried in these devices are simply not looking where they’re going.


    ok, what’s next, ONEcant breath out side from 7AM TO 7 PM…………..

  • Thinker

    This will not work. Now more people are going to die when they stop in the middle of the street to take a call!!

  • samed

    New York City politcians are so funny such ridicoulous efforts never anything serious or useful just flufff , smoke and mirrors what do we pay these idiots for????
    Scott Stringer writes a cook book ..this guy is a complete imbecile hooknose moron

  • Tony Greer

    They should bestow posthumous Darwin Awards

    Whys is it that Democrats swear by Darwinism (survival of the fittest) until they figure out a way to take away our rights and/or money by making laws under the guise of “protecting” people ?

  • frsicolacthi

    Darwin had a phrase for this – “survival of the fittest”

    • ofbg

      All Darwin awards are posthumous.

  • john

    Yo Mike…..

    “Fine pedestrians $100.00 if they get hit. Otherwise, leave folks alone.”

    Perfect solution! I LOVE it!

    • hunsaker

      Good thinking – Do you think a democrat lawmaker whould ever come up something so simple – I say no, never.



  • william wilson

    Wow they must have fixed all the decaying roads, gotten rid of the Mexican drug gangs, stopped the illegal aliens from stealing our taxes, kept our industries from going out of business due to their environmentalist regulations, fixed the insolvent pensions problem, rectified the state budget deficits. All that overnight! And now they have time for this. Of course they ALWAYS have time when it involves taking away our freedoms, bit by bit.

  • Ben Diamante

    They should fine people $100 for eating too fast. Might choke.

  • DrWooly

    For those of you in NYC that CAN walk and listen @ the same time, you’ll be allowed so many breaths per minute while walking; if vehicles are regulated, so shall you be.
    Get out now before…. (TOO MANY CHARACTERS!! Disconnect…)

  • Eric Jon Olsen

    I think this is a ridiculous proposition brought by Senator Kreuger.

    But to the Reporter(s): You spelled his name wrong. It’s CARL KREUGER.

  • Markinidaho

    So a tragic loss of life leads to a more tragic loss of freedom?

    Not in my country.

  • JPL

    Walking across streets should be banned, it’s the only way to be sure everyone is safe !!

  • jim

    My goodness, when and where will it end. If someone gets run over because he or she isn’t paying attention, it’s their own fault. We should fine Senators who come up with crazy laws like this. How about a $100 fine for looking up at all the tall buildings, walking to slow and being an out of towner.

  • johnqpublius

    I live in a town that probably has 200-350 car/deer accidents per year. … sometimes they are tragic and people get hurt or die.

    Life is full of perils… anyone who believes that regulation is the answer to all but an important handful of them is delusional. Like the deer that haven’t yet mastered the instinctive avoidance of fast moving light or big square objects, any person who chooses to be oblivious to the avoidable threats in that same world is in for a pretty tough go of it.

    Please … we already have enough laws that get broken every day. Banning texting while driving makes sense… it’s obvious to almost everyone that it’s dangerous.
    But truly careless people will always find a a way to die an unnecessary death – this law should die a necessary one.

  • Mike

    Fine pedestrians $100.00 if they get hit. Otherwise, leave folks alone.

  • ericwv

    Another elected moron, I’ll bet he uses his cell while walk & driving. Will probably won’t be affected anyway – this won’t apply to “officials”.

  • Bill J

    Less government intrusion into our lives would be welcomed. But we know that isn’t going to happen. Why don’t they just micro-chip us now and get it over with?

  • meep

    problem..make a law…problem…make a law…problem…make a law…

    thats alot of laws…now thats a problem…make a law about making laws?

  • victoria

    And they cage us like animals, the control on line in the bank, it starts with the leash, the democrats will tell us when we can use the bathroom, next comes the exploding collar- seen fortress its an old movie, but its coming soon.

  • edward

    Fabulous idea. I have run into people distracted by talking on the phone while walking. It should be made illegal to do this, with a substantial enough fine to make it worthwhile for the police to enforce it. Put the money in the funds for police, and you will get enforcement. This is an anti-social activity and needs to be corrected.

    • stjack

      You seriously would make “anti-social activities” a crime?
      How about fining people who engage in the “anti-social activity” like staying in on weekends, or playing solitaire, or reading?

  • Rocky

    It is time for the government to stay the hell out of our lives. Enough is enough.

  • bush

    Rumor has it that once this bill passes (and it WILL be passed), they are going to ban walking and chewing gum at the same time. Studies have shown that most people cannot accomplish both in a safe and responsible manner. More and more people have been walking into utility poles while chewing gum.

  • jennifer

    Are we becoming Russia?

    • Michael

      I doubt Russia bans talking on your cell phone while crossing the street, you idiot.

    • kc

      maybe a good thought but it’s hardly enforceable.. legislators need to think about this when trying to make everything under the sun illegal…if people are ignorant enough to not pay attention and they get hurt then that’s the biggest lesson they could learn…. law enforcement officers can’t stop everyone with ear buds in and try to prove a person was listening to their ipod instead of just wearing the ear buds while having the ipod on pause… not enforceable..

    • max

      @ jennifer, what exactly are you implying on?

      How is Russia relevant to this topic??
      So let me get this straight, every time a bored lawmaker who sits in his cubicle, with lots of time to spare, thinking up new laws to make the public angry, comes up with a new law and we are becoming Russia?

      Last I checked Communism in Russia collapsed in 1991.
      We invade countries under false pretenses, to gain what? Larger deficit… What do we call ourselves than? The Invaders? Anarchists?

  • stephen

    Making that law would be unconstitutional and illegal


      when has that ever stopped a Democrat?

  • Joanne

    This is getting crazy. It’s time people take responsibilities for their actions. Creating a law is utterly ridiculous. There are crimes happening all over the city and now you want to have cops start enforcing these laws. I think its time these lawmakers get a life!

    • whatever

      Hey, what’s next, are they going to ban the constitution next? Oh, wait, they’ve done that already.

  • Boozwaa

    The democrats are at it again…,

  • One-Eyed-Jacks

    I’ve only read the headline, but I’ll lay 2 to 1 odds this lawmaker is a democrat!

  • Cogiito

    Just another greedy politician trying to fill the coffers claiming its a safety issue. They are putting together legislation to increase tax on soda, cigarettes, all in the name of health. What B.S. either the publica is smartening up or politicians are getting dumber. Want a health bill, legislatie them out of existence. With politicians it is all about money, and it is always other peoples money.

  • Dr Moon

    “When people are doing things that are detrimental to their own well being, then government should step in,” Kruger said.
    Democrats want to control every facet of our lives, from birth to assisted suicide. If we ever allow the democrats to ever have complete control of government again they will create a communist society where we have to get permission for everything we do. It’s funny listening to these idiots wanting to pass laws to protect us from ourselves.

  • Ray

    Is this actually an elected officials? If they have a brain, they’re not using it. It’s totally ridiculous. These clowns must have too much time on his hands as this idea simply comes off as sounding like they’re morons. Pls. toss them into the Hudson. This is what Albany is chuck full of and we wonder why the state is in the state that it’s in? Look no further…we’ve culprits have been identified.

  • Tim

    Gosh, I wonder what party Kruger is. The story doesn’t say. How odd.

  • Rich

    His name is spelled Carl and he is never in Albany, He’s always in the bagel store and supermarket… in my neighborhood.
    They should ban cell phones at restaurants especially people at the same people who are texting others instead of talking to the people they are out with

  • Richard


  • Nick

    And yet, these drunken lying sacks of turds won’t pass laws to toughen penalties on murderous drunk drivers.

  • BaggaD

    Then we should ban all advertising in Times Square so that people are not distracted by those obnoxios ads flashing in their faces. Oh wait, that would cut into Senatorial payouts from corporations.

  • system c

    lets ban Sen. Karl Kruger

  • xxx

    dum dum dum welcome to america

  • cff

    another stupid law , by another stupid NY Senator.

  • Igor Shpak

    How about a $100 fine every time he opens his mouth?

  • Bruce Weinstein, Ph.D.

    How timely, given the premiere today of my “Ask the Ethics Guy!” series on Bloomberg BusinessWeek Online, in which I discuss the ethics of multitasking behind the wheel:

  • Dumba Merican

    Kookie Karl Kruger and his Kornball Krackdowns



  • Soap

    How about going after Apple. No more Iphones.

  • Jimmy

    nothing better to worry about?

  • nycwolf

    That’s right. Rather than ENFORCE the laws we already have, like ensuring DRIVER’s YEILD to pedestrians… let’s just create more stupid and useless never enforced laws so politicians can say “look at what I created”. Why do we pay taxes? Laws should serve taxpayors, not be useless and repetitive

  • Amanda Huginkess

    Hopefully this law can be extended to daydreamers as well.

  • teetotaler

    Better to go after jay walkers. They are a menace. Some of them actually want to get hit for big insurance money.

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