Bill seeks to fine BK iPod, cell phone users in name of safety

BROOKLYN - Using iPods and other distracting electronic devices while crossing Brooklyn and city streets will become a criminal act if a state lawmaker has his way.

Senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) plans to introduce legislation making it illegal to use an iPod, cell phone or Blackberry in a crosswalk. The bill calls for offenders to be issued a court summons and face a $100 penalty. Kruger believes the measure is needed to put an end to "iPod oblivion."

The lawmaker cites an incident when a man listening to music stepped off a curb at a busy Flatbush Avenue intersection directly in the path of a city bus. The victim was killed instantly. Another man was also killed in Brooklyn in a similar accident.

While some Brooklyn residents say they understand the need to pay attention to surroundings, many say a law goes overboard.

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