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Crossing street with earphones may be illegal

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Ever cross the street listening to your iPod or texting? We’ve all seen people do it and probably even done this ourselves.

If some lawmakers in the US get their way then it may be a crime.

The debate was re-ignited by Cathy Cruz Marrero’s infamous shopping cenre fountain tumble while texting which has now become an internet sensation after mall security posted the footage on YouTube.

New York is looking at banning the use of electronic devices while crossing the street.

This follows the death of a 21-year old man who could not hear the beeping reverse signal of a Mack Truck while he listened to his iPod Nano. He was subsequently struck and dragged 10 metres before dying at the scene.

In Oregon, State senator Michael Schaufler is trying to introduce a bill to ban cyclists wearing earphones.

New York State senator Carl Kruger wants to introduce the bill to curb what he calls “tuning in and tuning out”.

He says many pedestrians are so absorbed by the music they are listening to, the text message they are composing or reading to be aware of safety in high traffic areas like New York City.

In the US, pedestrian fatalities account for 12 per cent of all traffic deaths.

Back home the Pedestrian Council of Australia has begun a new safety awareness campaign (below) called “Lambs to the Slaughter – wait for the green”.

The Australian Pedestrian campaign

The concept showed pedestrians, many listening to their iPods, following other pedestrians onto the street without stopping to look and listen if it is safe to cross.

So should it be against the law to wear your earphones or use your mobile crossing the street.

Take a look at any street in the CBD of any major Australian city and you’ll see it happening everyday.

What about joggers? How many have you seen running while listening to their music. Surely they would be in danger as well.

What do you think?

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