February 7, 2007

Driving while talking on the cell phone? You shouldn't even be walking and talking on the cell phone!

Not in New York City, if this bill is passed.

I love walking while talking on the phone. And I remember when I used to make fun of people who were walking around talking on the phone. It used to be that talking while walking alone was a sure sign of craziness, and the early phone walkers had some nerve, looking crazy like that. Now, I look out my office window and see that nearly everyone who's walking alone is talking on the phone. I think it's nice. People don't want to be alone. They want someone to talk with while they're walking, but there's usually not someone there who's going in the same direction. And it's a good use of your walking time, catching up with friends and family or planning meeting somewhere. In fact, it's a good way to get some exercise. When you need to do a phone call, take a walk. Sometimes, when I get a call, I leave the house and walk around the neighborhood, and it's gotten to feel so normal to walk and talk that I also walk around the house when I'm on the phone.

So this bill is not just censorship, it's part of the obesity problem.


Dave said...

I'll leave to other the question of this bill's constitutionality, as that seems a rather dull topic.

What interest me are the more practical concerns:

1) How would this be enforced? You want to see cops tremble in their boots? Try telling them they have to separate a hipster or an investment banker from his cell phone.
2) What's the deal with Buffalo? There's about as much foot traffic their as there is in the Sahara. Buffalo is a car city.
3) Two people killed because of their own incompetence necessitates a law? In a city of almost 9 million people?

Hack politicians should be shitcanned.

Rick Lee said...

Hipsters? Investment bankers? It's everybody! I can't believe this is serious because I was in NYC this past Fall and everybody was talking on their cells while walking on the sidewalk. It used to be that all the cabbies wanted to talk to you during the ride, but nowadays they are all talking on the phone while driving the cabs. That kinda scares me, but telling New Yorkers they can't talk on the phone while walking down the street??... I'll believe that when I see it.

lawhawk said...

I'd suggest that Kreuger spend more time looking at how to reduce speeding drivers. I happened to know one of the people hit and killed.

He was flung more than 100 feet in the air by a car that was speeding down the street. He was listening to his iPod, but the driver also owes a duty of care to those around him as well.

More here.

Smilin' Jack said...

Where I live it seems to be illegal to walk down the sidewalk without talking on a cell phone. In fact, it's required to have a cell phone in one hand and a water bottle in the other at all times.

Revenant said...

I usually call my various family members to chat when I'm walking to or from lunch during the work week. It'd be a shame to have to give that up.

Rick's got it right. The idea that only "hipsters" (a label I could not possibly qualify for less) chat on their cells in public is at least five years out of date.

Tex the Pontificator said...

The most often proferred rationale for banning driving while using a cell phone is the risk presented to others. Walking while using a cell phone obviously presents only a trivial risk to others. The risk is to oneself. This proposal takes paternalism way too far.

And how is talking on a cell phone riskier than talking to the person walking next to you? But then I'm such a risky person that I've been known to look over a newspaper as I walk down the sidewalk. That too will be banned I'm sure.

vbspurs said...

Driving while talking on the cell phone? You shouldn't even be walking and talking on the cell phone!

Recently, I blogged about people who want to be buried with their cell phones, like 1 in 5 Britons according to a poll.

I ended the piece with this amazing photo, of a cellphone-shaped grave (!?).

(Someone linked to my piece, and said the translation on the grave is "Put that phone down and drive carefully", which if true, LOL!)

So, one wonders, given the new bill's proposals, would one die and still be able to use a cellphone in the great state of New York?


Mellow-Drama said...

Let 'em talk. Let Darwin sort them out.

KCFleming said...

Another example of the left bringing complete government control over everything we do, say, and eat.

Mandatory self-criticism sessions can't be far behind. And we have always been at war with Eastasia.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In addition to Pogo's comment about the Government's intrusion into every aspect of our lives....it is just plain futile to try to legislate stupidity away.

What about personal responsibility for your own actions? I agree let Darwin's laws work. We'll all be better for it.

KCFleming said...

While indeed it is "plain futile to try to legislate stupidity away", here in Minnesota, my own young Representative shows his true socialist colors thus:

"Rep. Andy Welti says he has introduced legislation in an effort to deal with broken glass and glass bottles that dangerously litter some of the state's beaches and waterways. ...It would prohibit all glass containers on beaches and watercraft, including inner tubes, kayaks and canoes.

Violators would face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail, with each violation treated as a separate offense. A civil penalty not exceeding $20 also could be imposed.

Welti, a second-term Democrat, said he wrote the bill after a constituent expressed concern about the quantity of broken glass cluttering the state's waterways and beaches.

House Republicans say his solution is to criminalize the possession of mustard bottles and cold cream."

oldirishpig said...

What I find hilarious is the sight of 4 college kids walking around (nominally) together with each and every one of them talking to someone else on their cell phones.