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
  • Karma

    You people need to understand that he is DEMOCRATIC Senator in a Republican led Legislature…this bill will NEVER see the light of day. End of story.

  • KC

    Dont touch My IPOD! ……Just try to stop me idiot! I listen to my Ipod to keep the idiots of the real world outta my head… I am very aware of the world around me…And There is a matter of Personal responsibility….. I dont need no freakin nanny!

  • John S

    Don’ you just love our law makers. They make laws about talking on cell phones etc, and then THEY WANT TO LEGALIZE POT OR MARIJUANA. I think its time to get rid of a lot of these law makers.

    • Jim

      Wow … where are we??? it is very Orwellian “shades of 1984” and we allready have them trying to be the thought police!

  • Skeeter

    Well put. My sentiments exactly. I’ve watched pinheads step in front of moving autos while texting or yapping. I dont blame drivers when idiots walk into traffic.

  • RigidPrinciples

    Wow. It seems as if Senator Kruger hasn’t been paying attention to recent events AT ALL. One would’ve hoped the events in Tuscon would’ve instilled the necessary amount of fear into these politicians to no longer infringe on our individual, inherent rights. It appears that necessary amount of fear hasn’t been instilled yet. The bottom line is our forefathers included the 2nd amendment in order for the People to have a chance against a ruthless, tyrannical government. Given recent events, there isn’t really a cogent argument in support of small arms not having a chance against a government that has grown as large, powerful, and corrupt as ours. From an efficiency vantage point, the legislators are the genesis of the unconstitutional legislation.

    • mike

      “Given recent events, there isn’t really a cogent argument in support of small arms not having a chance against a government…”


      Are you saying there is no legitimate argument against guns because some guy shot a bunch of innocent people?

      • ConradCA

        There is no legitimate argument against guns because the constitution guarantees the peoples right to keep and bear arms. Just as it guarantees their freedom of speech.

        Though mike is a loon.

  • Me

    Once again the government is overstepping it’s bounds.

  • Nite Miche

    Isn’t this a self-policing problem?

    • Mulffy

      Have we lost all out common sense? Look where you’re going! Must there be a law for something so simple?

      • Bob Gentile

        Today, sadly, we seem to need a law for EVERYTHING.

    • frank

      I firmly believe its time to call this jerk senator and the rest of the self serving do-gooders what they really are “DOUCE BAGS”! Slap them in the head the kick them in the ass!……new form of directed energy that aims to please!

      • SarcasmFTW

        If we did that, they would ban slapping and kicking.

  • billneal


  • ItsEuphoria Jai

    If they are looking out for our health, then ban cigarettes or them crazy taxi drivers, or high income taxes that leave us broke every month. That directly effects us!! So much insanity going on in NYC, I personally don’t want to hear it.. and the music drowns it out.

  • bill neal

    new york need to say any more?

  • Chicago Nick

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

    Typical freaking liberal……Nanny state Nanny State……they’ve infected so many people with this anti logic many can’t take a dump without being told how and when nowadays.


    LIKE i SAID BEFOR wE NEED A star chamber!!!!

  • Katherine Zamora

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

    Really the government should step in?
    Where is the government when innocent people are being killed everyday by traffic related accidents i.e.: a MACK truck illegally reversing and killing Jason King? Why doesn’t the government step in and enforce the law instead of concentrating on minutia. Ipods don’t kill people, people kill people. It’s an unfortunate truth. It doesn’t matter if Jason or anyone is listening to an Ipod or talking on the phone, it’s a drivers responsibility to be aware of ALL OF HIS/HERS SURROUNDINGS. If I’m not mistaken that’s one of the first things that are taught when taking Drivers Ed Courses. It just proves my point that the only thing the government concentrates on is how to get tax payers to pay more money. It’s all about the money. If the senator feels he needs to address an issue, he needs to make sure he lays out all the facts.

    My boyfriend Jason King was killed on his way to work by a Mack truck that decided to illegally reverse because he missed his original destination. So instead of going around the block, he decided to reverse without any supervision. My boyfriend was crossing the street at that moment and was killed. It’s upsetting to know that the main focus of the senators statement is all about banning Ipods and not rectifying the root cause of the problem.

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

    Of course they’re dying in the streets, you’re allowing this to happen. Does Kruger really believe that he’s going to save lives by banning Ipods and talking on the phone? That is not the issue. This is completely ridiculous. EVERYTHING in NYC is distracting. What’s next pedestrians won’t be allowed to converse with other pedestrians as they cross the street? What if the pedestrian crossing the street was deaf or blind? What then? They deserved to die because of their lack of senses? This is complete nonsense. People are dying in the streets because we have reckless people that disobey the law and get away with it.

    • Elizabeth

      Welll said!!! Ipods don’t kill people, people kill people!

  • ronsfi

    Risk of death won’t stop you, a $100 dollar fine will?

  • Zorba

    Very Darwinian I think.

    Let’s ban people leaving their homes next.

  • rjniles

    Trying to legislate against stupid, it doesn’t work

  • surlyguy

    Kruger’s efforts are inadequate. Let’s ban everything that has resulted in a person’s death. Ban cars, planes, bikes, motorcycles, bungee cords, electricity, dogs, knives, guns, peanuts and peanut products, swimming pools, busses, trains, medical procedures, athletic events, alcohol, cigarettes, trucks, tricycles, and childbirth.

    • james

      Oh hell lets just not allow people to breed any more period. Then is a cycle everything will be fixed and the world will be a wnderful place. All humans will never needs any more government oversite!

    • frank

      You have to go one step further- ban humans for they can die of natural causes!

  • Piece of Work

    Why is it that new yawkers think they’re so with, so smart, so sophisticated when they are undeniably the stupidest people in America? These democRAT chimps can’t walk, talk and chew gum at the same time.

  • teflonron

    Riding a bicycle while looking straight ahead, it’s so dangerous.



  • Billy Collins

    Welcome to Obama’s America.

    • James

      Sen Kruge – Another Demo Do-Gooder. This type of idiot should be slapped for another level of gov intrusion into american life. These do-gooders never can control themselves from sticking their noses and their busy-bodies into everybody’s business. If someone want to talk and no look crossing the street a law won’t stop it. She/he’ll do something just as stupid. Accidents happen, that’s what life is all about. Its a learning experience. Do stupid and risk pain, remember, don’t do stupid again. Is as basic as learning to walk as a toddler. This jerk needs to be reminded of real life and what learning is all about! Someone please slap him a few times as a teaching method with a lesson of keeping out of other peoples business!

  • Funkencop

    I worked a major hospital in a rather large California city and we recieved a patient that, while picking his nose inadvertantly scratched the inside of his nasal passage. He developed a bad Staph. infection that spread to his sinuses and frontal lobe of his brain. After a number of surgeries and regiemes of anti-biotics he survived. Now why do we still allow people to pick thier nose? Why aren’t some laws being passed to stop this dangerous practice, granted this individual did not die, but preety damn near! Isn’t that why we elect these people?

    • HMichaelH

      Now, that’s funny! If you don’t think that’s funny, you have no sense of humor…..and you probably think the story about banning “Walking and Talking” is serioius. It can’t be, can it? Can it?

  • lula

    with a good surveillance camera system with facial recognition, a ticket can be mailed to the perpetrator’s known address and as a matter fact, the fee could be just extracted automatically from their bank account. unpaid fees could be deducted from their tax returns also. lets go. lets do it.

    • Oprah Winfrey

      Can the sanitation department issue a ticket for taking a dump in a trash can ?
      Can cops in NYC walk, talk, fart and urinate at the same time ?

    • moosey palin

      Can a camera legally record a cop farting in a crowd..Cops love to fart in their patrol cars..But, most of all they love to wee-wee and fart on perps..
      Does the camera have to have a microphone to get the full impact of a real blast from the azzzz ?
      What chu tink white biy ?

  • obaMAO zombies are MORONS

    It had to be a dem/communist obaMAO zombie legislator. MORON!!!

    • Gorba

      Correct, but all Democrats are that stupid and should not have power. The other are fewer and further between. In other words not as Communistic.

  • Paul

    “‘When people are doing things that are detrimental to their own well being, then government should step in,’ Kruger said.” Does that include electing people like Kruger?

  • Me

    Waste93 – Your comment is nothing less than stunning. It is ON THE MARK. We the People MUST take our country back from this collection of political ‘doltuous’ bufoonery!

  • Ellen

    How about walking and chewing gum at the same time.

    • Rick

      I hope no politician sees your comment…they’ll appoint a blue ribbon panel to study it. Then, the blue ribbon panel will need a budget, a staff, hearings, at least 500 pages of legislation. Chewing gum companies will send lobbyists, Mothers Against Chewing While Walking (MACWW) will take out ads on TV and radio.
      It’ll just be a big mess and in the end, chewing gum will be taxed another 10%…probably 15% for spearmint!

  • Me

    Any way to legislate out stupidity??? kruger, you ARE an idiot.

    • fail legislation

      If we did that, we wouldn’t have a government.

  • Mary

    I say we pass a law or bill that prohibits the government from administering ridiculously over-bearing legislation!

  • Matt

    haha…probably get tacked on to the funeral costs for the family

  • Lee Hunter

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

    Drinking, eating fast food, watching too much TV, getting our news from CBS?


    Maybe this dude from NYC ought to draft a law against, lying, frauding and being overpaid?

  • Big Dawg

    I was mistaken. I believed that California was the home of all the crazy polititians. Move over California, here comes New York.

  • Big Dawg

    LOL! Then we would have no politicians. Hey! That isn’t a bad idea.

    • Kush Toker

      Does anyone know if next week is “Fart On A Politician Week”
      I would like to load up on salsa and baked beans and get ready to fart my way into the Guiness Book…Can someone tell me if it;s true that palin’s face will be the inspiration for expelling blasters ?

  • The Libertarian

    You wanted a government so powerful it could do anything. You got it. Enjoy.

  • anderchuck

    what if you’re deaf? are they not going to allow deaf people to walk around?? this is stupid.

    • Debbie Vaccaro

      Good point anderchuck!

      • johnnyclash

        Not in favor of the law by any means but the deaf learn early on to be more aware of their surroundings. I get my daily laugh watching these idiots (not the deaf) bumping into everything and everyone. A good shoulder check gets their attention.

  • Peteo

    Must be a Democrat.

  • Kinnison

    If NYC’s Finest can’t enforce the jaywalking statutes how are they going to enforce people listening to their telephones or iPods? New York legislators are regulation-happy, and many of society’s problems can’t be solved by legislation.

  • Mike

    It’s not about safety. It’s just about collecting more money for themselves, to pay for their luxuries and their mistresses.

    • Mary

      Mike.. best reply.. Hit the nail on the head. It’s all about revenue!!!

  • Jim M

    You’re right! And you’ll probably be required to wear an approved type of shoe. Everybody knows, bad feet drive up everybody’s health care costs.

  • nydebater

    something wrong in brooklyn. the lawmakers have nothing to do so they make up ridiculous laws, yesterday it was parking spaces for pregnant women BECAUSE the lawmaker’s wife had trouble finding a parking space. if you can’t drive and or park try taking a cab. if you can’t pay attention to traffic don’t walk.

  • 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.

    • Waste93

      The phrase was Abreit Macht Frei. Work makes you free.

      A better law would be to prohibit politicians from talking anywhere near a microphone or television camera. It seems to bring out the inner stupidity.

  • Jim Danitschek

    By all means let’s rush a ban on walking and listening to electronic devices through the legislature. Next, target those carrying on conversations while walking. And then ban chewing gum while walking. I know, the common link is walking! Yes! Let’s ban walking!

    Good luck New York! You are now officially too stupid for rational intelligent people to reside within your nanny state!

  • Phil Ridge

    Kinda reminds me of that movie “The Happening”. I thought the movie was just plain stupid, but it turns out M. Knight Shyamalan is Nostradamus!

  • pete

    We used to have this thing called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. I don’t know exactly when we gave it over to the government, but apparently we did, because we seem to never exercise it any more.

  • grinch


  • RedBlooded1776

    New Yorkers deserve the government they have.

    • Matt

      hey man im from new york what did the people here ever do to you? i think this bill is completely ridiculous. why do I and other new yorkers deserve this? am i not also a red-blooded american citizen born with certain inalienable rights given to us in 1776?

      • TJ

        You deserve it because you keep electing these idiots.

  • Jim M

    When iPods are illegal, only criminals will have iPods. Seriously, what’s next? A ban on walking and nose blowing? Umbrellas in crosswalks?

  • Jason Ambrosino

    Yes last time I checked J walking was illegal too…and you see just how enforced that is…just remember people each and every law that is emplaced to “protect” you from yourselves…you lose a bit of freedom…eventually a democratic public votes itself into its own chains.



    • Matt

      not sure what Obama has to do with NYS lawmakers in a state assembly….and being a New Yorker I seem to remember Bloomberg, while he was mayor under Bush, was handing out tickets for a bunch of nonsense including someone sitting on milk crate and a pregnant woman sitting on the subway stairs…can I blame the federal government and republicans for that then?….just because you hate Obama (and so you know I didnt vote for him so im not just defending “my guy” or anything like that) doesnt mean he is responsible for stupid state laws that have nothing to do with him

      • mike b

        Matt, SPOT ON! There is always someone who tries to make one thing about something completely different. This idiot from my state has nothing to do with Obama.

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