Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Nanny State is Coming for your iPod

This is freaking ridiculous.

A state senator from Brooklyn said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in either New York City or Buffalo.

It is not enough that we can't be trusted to make our own dietary choices. It is not enough that we don't tolerate doofuses riding motorcycles without helmets. It is not enough that we have brightly lit signals that give us visual instructions on when to cross the street. Now, in response to some perceived deadly epidemic of Walking Under the Influence, some well-intentioned idiot is proposing legislation.

The arguments for outlawing behaviors that put one's own self at risk are weak in the libertarian-tinged world I inhabit, but usually they boil down to balancing societal costs against individual rights. So, for example, even though you're poisoning your own damn self with those Marlboros, killing your own damn self with a massive herniating head injury on that Harley, you end up unavoidably using society's resources in your final days in the Intensive Care Unit and/or hospice.

Besides chewing up resources trying to enforce the barely enforeceable, this legislation is a drag on productivity in other ways. Walking around on city sidewalks is essentially unproductive time, and if you can squeeze in an ambulatory conference call during your daily multitasking, why not?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is called a harassment law - there aren't enough police to enforce it, notr should there be - but if you get hurt jaywalking it's going to make it harder for you to sue the innocent driver you bumbled in front of.

3/07/2007 01:35:00 PM  

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