According to Lowering the Bar and this AP story, a legislator in NY is seeking to prohibit pedestrians (and that includes joggers) from using cell phones and iPods while walking. The New York bill would prohibit individuals from entering or crossing a crosswalk in a city with a population of one million or more while using an electronic device (which is defined to include iPods, iPads, cellphones, PDAs, etc.). Violators would be fined $100. An Arkansas legislator considered a similar bill, but dropped it earlier this week as publicity about the proposed legislation mounted. Senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), the New York legislator, scolded the Arkansas legislator for backing down, stating, "I don't know the legislator, but shame on him because in the process that goes forward it's not a question of whether or not you pass a bill, . . . You also file a bill because it may be a cornerstone for others to use."
Will California be the next state to take up the distracted pedestrian issue? Personally, because many drivers that I encounter during my daily walk to work are distracted by cell phones or other multi-tasking (I once saw a woman almost run over a little boy when she looked down to light a cigarette), I do not use any electronic devices during my walking commute. I need all of my senses to save myself from distracted drivers.