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
  • Lars Skipole

    What would we do without DemocRat nannies. How did we ever get along without you?

  • StupidYanks

    It occurs to me that folks in the north think folks from the south are stupid and moronic. I encounter this quite frequently as I travel. However, I continually hear and read about issues in the north that show abject stupidity on the part of legislators (esp. in NY). Since these legislators are a reflection of the voters that continue to vote them into office, I can’t help but think most of the people up north are far more stupid than the hayseed hicks from the south.

    • Bornx Jimmy

      I’m a Yank who moved from NYC to Ohio .. could not agree with you more!

    • Jim M

      You hit the nail on the head with your comment, SY. Not that there aren’t some people here in South Carolina dumb enough to get hit crossing the street. The difference is that no one expects the government to pass laws to protect them.

    • Matt

      I live in NYC and there certainly is a great deal of stupid…however from most people I know and talk to, we all agree the state lawmakers here are especially terrible and dont represent us whatsoever….theyre completely incompetent and everyone seems to agree….this is in the city at least….NY is a big state with a lot of country too

  • Fred

    A moral obligation is not the same as the government compelling an action.

  • orlandocajun

    “That all being said, this is not a liberal making liberal laws. This is an idiot making laws for other idiots”

    Devenio, is there a difference?

  • SaintLo

    What about walking and chewing gum?

  • troy

    If this is all law makers have to do with taxpayer money than maybe its time to close down the state legislature. You cannot protect people from themselves. You cant fix stupid!!!

  • Stan Veyber

    That’s such a bad thought… “more fortunate then others”. Who says people like Bill Gates are more fortunate? They’re SMART. If you take money from rich people…they can always make it back off of poor people, and they will. As a business owner, if you are taxed, wouldn’t you want to make that money back? So you fire workers, or give less promotions or whatever it may be.
    That’s a terrible liberal belief, proven wrong on so many levels. You can’t take advantage of the people that run this country (money-wise), because they will surely figure out a way to get it back or they’ll leave the country. That’s why America is a hole of manure, for a lack of a better word, all the smart and powerful people go overseas to do business so they don’t have to be taken advantage of by this corrupt government system.

  • Mad Dog

    Notice how the article didn’t mention that Sen. “Nanny” is a Democrat… that’s how you can tell he is.

    • jim


      Your search has ended. You are not a conservative or a liberal
      you are a communist
      Not that there;s anything wrong with that
      Have a nice non-profitable day Comrad

    • magy57

      Exactly!!! If there is a R next to name its a whole different story True libs [destroy America ones] always seem to trick the other stupid libs that will vote them in again & again …When will people start thinking for themselves dumb dummies!!!!

  • Reality Blowz

    For God’s sake, UNCLE ALREADY!!!! Can someone tally up every single law in every community, state and federal and see what the number comes out to be. Stop with the new laws.

  • Zander_SIG

    INSANE!!!! Got to love those Liberals! Glad I don’t live in NY!

    All I heard last night during SOTU was BIG GOVERNMENT, Blah, Blah, BIG GOVERNMENT, HIGHER TAXES, Blah, BIG GOV!

  • Viejoverde

    A law. Of course! The Dems just trying to keep their most faithful voters alive.

  • Zaphod

    But if NYC politicians simply leave citizens to the tides of natural selection, the Democrats would soon have no one left on their voter rolls. No one but a handful of arrogant Ph.Ds. Certainly not the welfare hordes that they require to keep the intelligentsia in power.

  • astralweeks

    Dear New York,

    We want to sincerely thank you and California for the endless laughs. You guys are hilarious.

    The Rest of the Nation

  • Ace

    They don’t inforce or fine the no spitting or littering laws. This law would be uninforcible. Yet they have not made any law against RFID readers that would steal your credit card, bank card and access card information without touching you. Imagine stealing from your back pocket or purse just by passing you by.

  • zbacku

    Can we now say that our politicians are now officially INSANE!
    Might as well as outlaw ALL motor vehicles. How about alcohol, oh we did that already and look what that brought.
    How about making it illegal to wake up. No chance of any accident. Oh what, how about the murdering thugs that our politicians seem to keep on the streets.

  • ABad

    Apparently, the leftist crooks who run NYC haven’t heard of the First Amendment.

    • Benjamin 77

      Lets just idiot proof the entire country. Drop the NANNY STATE mentality and allow people to take responsibility for their own actions. My goodness!!!!

  • JBC

    This is a joke right? It’s not April 1st yet.

  • LindaInUpstateNY

    Senator Kruger (along w/the rest of the NYS Senate) should concentrate on NY’s failing ecomony and job market, not
    what people are doing in the sreet.

  • Anil Thomas

    No law can supplant the need for common sense.

  • Dave

    Shame on you, CBS. You are complicit in this tyranny in your biased reporting. Where is the balance? One sentence in a long list of sob stories saying that some are opposed? Pathetic. You don’t even tell us who the lawmakers are so that we can hold them to account. You clearly support this, and hope that continued exposure will co-opt enough politicians to act. Of course there are horror stories, but where does government intervention stop? Where is liberty? Where is freedom? Dying, thanks to leftist fools like you who confuse compassion and moral superiority with wanting to control every facet of other people’s lives.

  • KP

    Wow… Are you serious? Nanny statism continues….

    • bilal

      i am bilal ap ko reply do

  • Devenio

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

    Then Mr. Idiot Law Maker – outlaw cigarettes and alcohol in the state of New York. They are by far more detrimental to ones well being than listening to music or talking on the phone. Heck, outlaw thunder and lighting in NYS – they kill more people than this stupid law would protect. Who the hell elected you? Please just shut your fool mouth and continue stealing millions in New York tax dollars.

    • Tyler

      but you forget – alcohol and cigarettes make these politicians money…they would never jeopardize their piggy bank

      • Devenio

        Yeah, I know. I just wanted to see how much this so called law maker really cares about the people.

  • RobG

    He can just stick his liberal ideas where the sun don’t shine.

  • gommygoomy

    And they want the Jews to start wearing a yellow Star Of David on their breast pocket, from now on.
    But, don’t worry. Everything’s gonna be all right. Just remember: HARTE MACHT FREI.
    What’s that? That’ll never happen?
    You think that we’ve LEARNED from history?
    Every thing the DEMOCRATS do, says otherwise.
    We are DOOMED to REPEAT IT.

  • jon

    how about assigning every citizen a cop to escort us through the day to make sure we dont talk at the wrong times, eat salty foods, or criticize our political lords and masters?

    • CommonSenseRules

      Right!!!…Or how about just making a law that we can never leave our house. The government could line all our houses in bubble wrap and since it would be illegal for us to leave the house, we would always be safe. Of course they would have to ban any flame producing devices, guns, plastic bags, knives, rope, small parts on anything we buy, etc….anything we could possibly harm ourselves with.

  • Unbelievable

    Let’s see.. Ban cars because someone could be killed. Ban showers because someone could slip and fall, hit their head and be killed. Ban bikes because someone may hit a rock in the road and crash and be killed. Ban fireplaces because a house may catch on fire and someone may be killed. Geez Louise what is wrong with these people!!

  • jack prong

    new york police state in action.

  • Mr Negative

    What about walking and chewing gum. That’s a pressing problem too.
    I am so glad that the state is running so well that the a hole senator can spend time on these critical issues.

  • benth164

    Well said Tony…. My sentiments exactly !

  • Anna

    This is rediculous. Instead of punishing the drivers taht are not careful, we are now about to punish people that are trying to find ways to distress. We are making an example of a young man who was going to work, minding his own business. he crossed the street, always loking towards the way traffic is supposed to come. He was hit by a vehicle coming the wrong way. There are deaf people that look the right way will they be punished as well? How could politicians thibnk this is right? There is no respect for the public, the family of those that have been lost and for humanity. Let Jason rest in peace or at least create a law that punishes the drivers taht are careless. Have a law that requires a device to worn drivers of soemthing around them or to have a buddy driver to guide them while moving around pedestrians. FInally how could you put something like this on the news. Why don’t you consider the family that is looking at the news and they all of a sudden see the face of their son. No warning! How heartless!

  • larry

    most of the commenters arent getting the real issue. we have people chatting on their phones walking slowly across streets, jamming up the crosswalks and preventing/slowing cars from making turns – which increases the gridlock. Unfortunately it will be hard to put manners and common sense back into people

    • Phil Ridge

      Actually, it just solidifies what’s being said here…. Sounds like some people don’t fully appreciate the use of their legs…

    • CommonSenseRules

      No larry, you aren’t getting the real issue. You would advocate the government taking away peoples rights so that you don’t have to sit in traffic. It is too bad that people are rude, but making laws against it is not the answer. The answer is to go back to teaching manners, not making things that annoy you illegal.

  • Shakingmyhead

    A law against walking and talking at the same time? These politicians have crossed over into caricatures of themselves. Now, walking, talking, and chewing gum at the same time is another story.

  • Contarian

    Is it still legal for you Yorkies to chew bubble gum?

  • dirgtata

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

    And just who will be deciding what is detrimental? Government morons with the IQ of a turnip?

    You can’t protect people from themselves.

    • benth164

      Again, well spoken

  • at

    Crossing the street is a privilege, not a right. Crazy, unlicensed street crossers have terrorized the good people of New York City long enough! I for one am glad that we are finally seeing some common-sense proposals to prevent people from walking and talking at the same time. Or walking and hearing.

  • Flabbergasted

    Oh my God… are you kidding me???? This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Why oh WHYYYYYY is this Senator even considering this?????? Idiot idiot idiot!!!! Next thing you know it’ll be against the law to wear shoes without non-slip soles because you might slip and fall on the sidewalk….

    • Richard

      Don’t say that too loudly!!

  • matt

    sounds like mrs tabasso is a fine parent. maybe she should start wearing an ipod while crossing the street

  • Ken


  • Caroline

    Don’t tread on me!!

  • MainStreet

    I don’t see any problem with this. I just stuck that little pointy thingy on the end of my toothbrush in my eye. OOCH! Need a law against either those little pointy thingys or against brushing my teeth. What is this guy’s phone number?

  • bush

    Lawmakers have been tossing around the idea of proposing a bill making it illegal to smile on a cloudy day.

  • M.W.

    A law for EVERY problem humans have. Or, as has been observed in the past, a solution in search of a problem. The Era of THE REGULATION. Completely tiresome. To -most- politicians: “…don’t go away mad; just go away….”

  • Charles Gross

    Charlles Gross shares his “Commond Sense” solution to cell phone jay walkers His idea? Bring back Maxwell Smart’s shoephone see the below link.

  • jessica z

    Its unbelievable that at a time like this, they want to blame the death of a great person on something as stupid as listening to an ipod!!! Drivers in ny are WRECKLESS!, whether you are paying attention or not!! Garbage trucks, buses, cabs, and school buses are freaking hitting so many people and still nothjing is done to stop this! They should be worried about enforcing traffic rules and regulations! This article is absurd!

  • Carol

    Jason was my friend and that truck driver reversed from the street to the intersection this has nothing to do with his I-pod How Dare this politician say this. If anything they should be enforcing traffic violations.

  • truth

    I hope, so much, that this becomes reality. NYC deserves no less. Keep voting liberal you idiots. Please, please PLEASE pass this ban and re-elect the pols who support it. It will hasten your demise and show again how futile it is to legislate utopia.

  • everett

    Idiot politicians. They can’t balance a checkbook but they can live our lives. Jerks.

  • Random Reader

    How about a law to prevent voting while thinking?

    • Richard

      I believe that is already strictly enforced in most precincts!!

  • scott

    One more example of the government not being able to MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS!



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