Sunday, February 6, 2011

Texting and Headphone Legislation (by Stoicao)

Texting and driving being illegal? I get you there. But texting while walking receiving the same fate? Insanity. Not being able to listen to your iPod on or near a road? Insanity as well. As if state senators didn’t already have enough to worry about, now a select few want to put a ban on texting while walking, and listening to music while walking or biking. Violators would face a $100 fine if caught in the act of one of these heinous crimes. How can this possibly be dangerous to anyone surrounding  someone doing these things? The answer is it can’t. It boggles my mind how people like this get elected into a governmental position. Why don’t they go ahead and ban eating, talking, and thinking while walking while they are at it? Forget about a potential murder happening in an area of high crime, let’s keep X amount of police officers on patrol near the city’s biggest crosswalks to ensure nobody is texting or listening to music while crossing the street. Good thinking government. It is no wonder why they never get anything done these days. Everyone is trying to pass petty laws to make a name for themselves, even if they will be largely ridiculed for doing so. It is getting out of hand.


  1. Stoicao, here's the scenario the authorities are trying to avoid. A runner runs with her ipod blaring in both ears along a busy street. As she is about to run across a side street perpendicular to the busy street, a bus is about to cross the likely path of the runner if the runner does not stop. The bus is too big and going too fast to stop in time, so the bus driver sounds his horn. The runner does not hear the bus due to her music, and she gets splattered by the bus.

    All the proposed legislation does is keep "one" ear free so that the runner or pedestrian can hear if there is danger. I would actually think that it is commonsense to not blare music in both ears in an area where there is a lot of moving cars, but obviously there have been enough accidents to prove that it is not commonsense to everyone. That is why there is legislation being proposed.

    The legislation is good legislation - or am I missing something?

  2. I view the legislation as bad, but whether or not you view it as good or bad, it is impractical nonetheless. My view is that law enforcement is thin as it is, and this would just thin it even more. Nobody wants to run with one ear bud out. It should be on people to pay attention while they are listening to music. Like I mentioned in the previous post, are you going to ticket people for eating a burger when walking? Are you going to ticket them for looking at a plane in the sky when they are walking? You can't move into this kind of legislation because it doesn't make sense. If people are going to sue when they get hit by a bus, let them. They won't beat the system. Those cases that end up being serious are few and far between in my opinion.

  3. Stoicao, I'm not buying it. If you understand why texting + driving is bad, why are not getting this new proposed legislation? The whole point is that some often done activities take away from our self and surrounding awareness such that we put ourselves and others in danger.

    I would think that you'd complain over motorcyclists not being required to wear helmets in Wisconsin than this piece of legislation. Are you that tied to hearing music in both ears while walking busy streets that you would risk dying for it?

  4. I think walking with blaring music in both ears, cut off from external noise, on a busy street, or anywhere that could be potentially dangerous without the ability to hear, is just a matter of people using their heads. For the girl jogging with her ear buds on high volume, I claim survival of the fittest. She might be in good physical shape, but her brain's not quite all there - so she gets splattered. Whoops. Unfortunately not all accidents that people cause affect solely themselves - which is why I guess these laws are considered necessary for some, to protect the safety of the innocent.