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No iPods on New York Streets?

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For a city which almost tom toms its preoccupation with freedom - what with the Statue of Liberty standing tall in its midst, the Big Apple seems bent on 'not practicing' what it preaches.

If one Carl Kruger, New York State Senator, has his way against what he dubs, 'iPod oblivion', or the self induced stupor brought on by iPods and other such devices, there will soon be legislation banning the use of portable electronic gadgets such as iPods, PDAs, gaming devices, Blackberry devices, and cell phones while crossing the mean streets of New York, Albany, or Buffalo.

What's more, offenders will be slapped with a $100 fine, plus a criminal court summons.

Kruger, in his defense, says, the government has an obligation to protect its citizens, and that electronic gadgetry has reached a point where its creating a major public safety crisis for the government.

Kruger says that while he is trying not to intrude upon personal freedoms of New Yorkers, it becomes difficult to leave the problem alone when pedestrians tune-in to an iPod/Blackberry/cell phone/video game only to walk blythely into a speeding bus or moving automobile to meet with near certain death.

Kruger does not have exact statistics to support his claim, but he cites three accidental deaths of pedestrians in Brooklyn since September 2006, all of whom stepped into traffic even as they were distracted by some electronic gadget or the other. In one such case, Kruger remembers, bystanders kept screaming, "watch out", but in vain.

So, while Kruger hammers away at obliterating 'iPod oblivion', New Yorkers have but one option - to use their freedom (read: iPod) in a more responsible manner!

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