New York in iPod street ban threat

Under proposed plans, New York pedestrians will not be able to listen to music as they walk to work

New Yorkers are up in arms this morning after US politicians announced plans to ban pedestrians from listening to iPods on the streets of Manhattan . The law would make it illegal to walk, jog or ride a bike while listening to any kind of portable audio device.

It was only a few years ago that New York become the first major city to ban smoking tobacco in public places; it's now going a step further by banning electronic devices too.

"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," state Senator Carl Kruger said.

Blackberry ban

The law will cover any electronic device which might distract the person using it while crossing the road; so that includes handheld consoles, mobile phones, and somewhat devastatingly for many New Yorkers - Blackberrys .

Kruger said that a man in his district was killed last year after stepping into the road without looking left - he was listening to music and was crushed by an oncoming vehicle.

"You could have a fire engine coming and you wouldn't hear it," said Kruger's chief of staff, Jason Koppel.

If the law comes into effect, pedestrians caught using these devices in the street could be fined up to $100 (around £50).

James Rivington

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