Laws on the books try to stop jaywalking, but if one New York state senator gets his way, it will also soon be illegal to bop along to your iPod while crossing the street.
Sen. Carl Kruger will propose a bill that would ban using an iPod — and any other electronic device that is a distraction — while crossing traffic, he told FOX News on Wednesday.
"I think it's necessary if we just look at the statistics that bear out the argument that people while being too into their electronic gadgetry are tuning out the rest of the world. They are becoming a statistical fatality, they are being part of an accident scene. They are basically jeopardizing their well-being as well as the well-being of others around them," Kruger, a Democrat, said.
The bill would levy a $100 fine against those who use iPods, cell phones and BlackBerrys while in a crosswalk in all of New York's major cities. WNBC reported that the ban would only be in effect in Buffalo and New York City.
Kruger said the bill could be enforced the same way cell phone driving bans are enforced.
"The punitive aspect of the legislation is not as important as raising the bar on the public awareness of the jeopardy that people are putting themselves (in) by using the electronic gadgets," he told FOX News. "We see time and time again people crossing the street text messaging, reading their e-mails, making telephone calls, listening to their iPod, and ridiculous as it may sound, even playing video games, and the net result is a serious public safety issue."
Kruger said he decided to propose the legislation after several pedestrians in his Brooklyn district were killed while using a small electronic device and crossing the street.
"If you want to listen to your iPod, sit down and listen to it," Kruger told WCBS-TV. "You want to walk in the park, enjoy it. You want to jog around a jogging path, all the more power to you, but you should be crossing streets and endangering yourself and the lives of others."