Action against distraction
Technologically savvy consumers caught crossing New York streets while listening to an iPod could receive $100 fines, according to The Associated Press (AP). In February, New York State Sen. Carl Kruger introduced the legislation — also applicable to cell phones, Blackberries and video games — and told AP: “If you’re so involved in your electronic device that you can’t see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense.” Civil Liberties Attorney E. Christopher Murray disagrees. “What’s next? Do you get fined if you don’t look both ways?,” he told AP.
When Kewaskum, Wis., Police Chief Richard Knoebel accidentally drove past a stopped school bus last September, he gave himself a $235 ticket. Along with the ticket, which he paid the following day, Knoebel also deducted four points from his driving record, according to AP. While on patrol, Knoebel drove around a dump truck only to pass a school bus stopped in another lane. “If it brings notice to people that they should be stopping for school buses, I don’t mind the notoriety,” Knoebel told AP.