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New York may ban iPods while crossing city streets

New Yorkers who heedlessly cross city streets while listening to their Apple iPod or fumbling with other electronics devices, such as cell phones, may soon face a hefty fine from the city.

According to both NBC and the Associated Press, New York State Senator Carl Kruger is expected to introduce legislation today that would impose a $100 fine for people who continue to use their electronics gadgets —such as iPods, Blackberries, and video games — while crossing the street.

Kruger said Tuesday that three pedestrians in his Brooklyn district were killed in recent months upon stepping into traffic while distracted by an electronic device.

"Government has an obligation to protect its citizenry," he said in a telephone interview with the AP. "This electronic gadgetry is reaching the point where it's becoming not only endemic but it's creating an atmosphere where we have a major public safety crisis at hand."

New York's streets are frequently consumed with gadget wielding and earbud bearing residents who are looking to fire-off that extra e-mail or pass the brunt of their daily commutes with a tune.

"I'm not trying to intrude on that," Kruger said. "But what's happening is when they're tuning into their iPod or Blackberry or cell phone or video game, they're walking into speeding buses and moving automobiles. It's becoming a nationwide problem."