Why not ban pedestrians listening to music?

September 29th, 2010 at 7:48 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

iPod users are being warned by police to be vigilant on the roads after the death of a young woman who was hit by a car while listening to music.

It is believed to be the third case in the past year in which a pedestrian or cyclist listening to an iPod has been distracted and killed.

Well that has killed more people than drivers aged over 25 with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08.

Clearly the Government needs to ban pedestrians and cyclists from walking/cycling with an iPod.

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36 Responses to “Why not ban pedestrians listening to music?”

  1. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Its the motorists fault didn’t you know.

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  2. dad4justice (7,718 comments) says:

    Ban everything but bring back Buck and ghetto blasters.

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  3. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    Well considering the National nanny state banned cellphone use in cars they will probably jump at your suggestion.

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  4. adze (1,855 comments) says:

    Expect a lot more of this as electric vehicles and hybrids slowly become the norm.

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  5. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    If they don’t they are “murderers” and cabinet should be prosecuted

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Clearly the Government needs to ban pedestrians and cyclists from walking/cycling with an iPod.”

    Stephen Joyce has ordered the legislation to be drafted immediately.

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  7. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Only a fraction of injured pedestrians had iPods, but 99.9% of pedestrians have legs. We should go for the quick win and ban legs.

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  8. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    They should just ban cars, takes care of drink driving and hitting pedestrians in one go.

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  9. Pete George (22,731 comments) says:

    The government should pick up on this Monorail idea.

    All pedestrian areas should be converted to something like the monorail, where everyone goes around in protective bubbles.

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  10. dad4justice (7,718 comments) says:

    I would like to say that was a good idea petey but the National Nanny Government will install bubble police.

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  11. Sam (497 comments) says:

    Ssh – with all these ideas, legislators might be listening…

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  12. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    iPod users should be made to walk around inside zorb balls. Then if they are hit by a car they’ll just bounce harmlessly down the road.

    [DPF: Now that's a great idea!]

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  13. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    The government should pick up on this Monorail idea.

    All pedestrian areas should be converted to something like the monorail, where everyone goes around in protective bubbles.

    Or maybe we could just build railings.

    http://www.ctsafetybarriers.co.uk/polymer.html

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  14. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    [DPF: Now that's a great idea!]

    It’s a great idea, and could be great sport. Imagine the rush to your local college early to get the best park… right by the exit!

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  15. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Pedal-powered monorail. About as world changing as the segway proved to be. Anyone remember the hype about the secret ‘next big thing’ before they finally unveiled it?

    Let’s see. Put a personal transportation system on a single lane, then power it by each individual’s physical ability to turn the pedals. A recipe for constant collisions and bubble-jams, followed by bubble-rage.

    What does intrigue me is how they build in the stopping points? So I hop on, pedal down to The Warehouse, get out… What happens? Is the bubble I was using now a rail-block for every other bubble? Or was I able to turn into a bubble-stop which branched off the single rail? (If so, then how do they determine where the stops go in a production system?)

    I suppose it does provide a reason to visit Rotorua – to check it out.

    I have visions of the Wellington trolley bus system – one bus fails on the route and they’re all stuck. I can’t believe we allowed ourselves to be fleeced to fund that ridiculous system (which also helps to keep power prices up of course, as well as trapping us behind (im)mobile chicanes.

    Sorry – very off topic, but Pete did paste in the monorail link

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  16. Pete George (22,731 comments) says:

    iPod users should be made to walk around inside zorb balls.

    Zorba the geeks?

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  17. Chris2 (754 comments) says:

    There is a large picture on the front page of The Herald of the 19 year-old girl who was killed.

    I’m reminded of Judge Judy’s saying “Beauty fades, dumb is forever”.

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  18. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Matt don’t be an idiot. Some moron blathering on the phone while driving is likely to kill another person, we all have in interest in discouraging them. A moron crossing the road without checking for traffic is most likely to only kill themselves. If they want to improve the gene pool that way, that’s their business.

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  19. RRM (9,418 comments) says:

    Not really anything you can sensibly compare here.

    Inattentive pedestrian = hazard to themselves.

    Liquoured drivers of motor vehicles = hazard to others.

    DPF it’s clear this issue is a hobby horse of yours. Why is the prospect of having to limit yourself to one less drink before you drive home such a big problem for you?

    [DPF: You really should not try and make things personal. My usual drink is diet coke, not alcohol.]

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  20. shoreboy57 (128 comments) says:

    RRM

    “DPF it’s clear this issue is a hobby horse of yours. Why is the prospect of having to limit yourself to one less drink before you drive home such a big problem for you?”

    Because RRM, turning David into a criminal, or forcing him to have one less drink does absolutely nothing to tackle the issue – recidivist drink drivers, those double or more over the limit. Show me the evidence of how many drivers who have caused accidents when between 0.5 and 0.8. It doesn’t exist. Deal with the real problem. It;s like trying to solve P problem by limiting Prozac

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  21. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Why is the prospect of having to limit yourself to one less drink before you drive home such a big problem for you?

    I’m guessing because it limits the social enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of responsibe NZers in the belief that that one less drink by those hundreds of thousands of NZers will reduce the loss of life. If there is a case for a lower BAC limit reducing loss of life now, the same case will exist after the limit is lowered, and it will still exist after that.

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  22. RRM (9,418 comments) says:

    We obey road rules all the time, for everyone’s good. One very minor change to one of them should not get the “my freedom!” juices of any sensible pundit flowing.

    This is the same how dare they suggest that respectable people like me are part of the problem too!!! thing that rears its head every time someone middle-aged with a nice car gets pulled over for doing 112km/h on the motorway. Those rules are for making sure young people in old Skylines behave themselves aren’t they?

    Don’t get me wrong I love a night on the turps. But I pity anyone who can’t have fun without it.

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  23. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    RRm,

    It could also be considered similar to the proposition that money be stolen from the likes of me to provide an individually miniscule pricing incentive on healthy food for people who chose not to be sensible enough to purchase it in the first place.

    Let’s stop x from having a couple of beers because that twat over there got completely legless and killed someone. Really useful in actually addressing the real problem RRM.

    I think we’re better off using our taxes to fund sleeping pills if we have people in our society that need to take stupid and fruitless actions which are actually all about helping those people to sleep at night…

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  24. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    RRM: it’s about dealing with benefits as well as costs, and doing proper analysis of the impacts of policy. It’s about not getting caught up in the typical public policy problem of concentrated benefits v’s diffuse costs. Ultimately, it’s about the gradual encroachment of our freedoms for no good reason.

    My personal hobby horse is the law that prohibits the sale of unpasteurised orange juice unless it’s squeezed on the premises. I always wonder what analysis went with that – how many people were getting sick from unpasteurised orange juice. It’s a personal hobby horse because I happen to like real fresh orange juice, and you used to be able to get good quality juice that was distributed from a central location in Wellington. Now we get crappy juice because cafes cannot afford proper machines (ones that squeeze instead of grinding up the pulp). I reckon there were next to no benefits, but the costs are so diffuse that nobody ever complained. What price having to drink crappy orange juice?

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  25. Tauhei Notts (1,601 comments) says:

    Road Safety!
    IPods and drunk drivers.
    The biggest threat to motor car drivers that has never been addressed are those convoys of heavy trucks on wet nights that throw up an unbelievable amount of water from the road. That makes one’s vision very limited, like non existent.
    I have frequently, on wet evenings, taken country lanes like Campbell Road and Kereone Road, to avoid the heavy truck convoys on Highway 27. Driving at 80 kph on a wet evening on a major highway with all the trucks is a bloody sight more dangerous than driving at 125 kph on the southern part of the Desert Road when the only other vehicle on the road on that sunny, still day, is a traffic cop. Driving at 125 kph can be safe, but it is also extraordinarily expensive.

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  26. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    There should be a scientific argument for what the road rules are. Every limit should be backed up by research numbers, and unfortunately if those numbers are set to 0 crashes and 0 deaths, we would have an unworkable rulebook.

    The test is not ‘why should this be a problem for you?, anything less than 100% acquiescence to our arbitrary rules is anti-social’.

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  27. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    IPod deaths, Segway suicides, whats next ?

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  28. Pete George (22,731 comments) says:

    Driving at 125 kph can be safe, but it is also extraordinarily expensive.

    High fuel consumption driving habits will get even more expensive soon: Drivers face 7c petrol shock

    But – since when was 7c on fuel a shock? The price has been moving around by that sort of amount for ages. I’ve long ago gotten over the shock of $100+ fill-ups.

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  29. GPT1 (2,087 comments) says:

    1. A number of running events ban ipods etc for safety reason. I tend to agree with them as people with music tend to go into their own world and this can cause havoc.
    2. In terms of the EBA proposition one of the major things that people miss in this debate is that the EBA level is an arbitrary tool. If you are over the limit and were driving within a reasonably short period of time (or driving) then you are guilty. Pretty much end of story. But the effect of alcohol varies from person to person. So, from my selfless experiments, I can drink an enormous amount and still be under the limit but another person might be over from a relatively little amount. Police have told me they have had people off their chops blow under and others who look sober blow twice the limit (usually the functioning alcoholics). Recently I challenged a police officer on his assertion that my previously unconscious client who blew 781 was only moderately intoxicated (police love gving opinions on how intoxicated they think people are). I made a sarcastic remark about 781 suggesting something other than moderate and the Judge chipped in with “we all know that it is an arbitrary test and alcohol effects people in different ways”.

    Ideally we would have some sort of system were we can identify whether or not you are dangerously impaired but that is, at best, highly impractical and almost certainly subjective. Hence avoiding turning people into criminals with a low limit has some merit as an argument – especially when the evidence as to lives saved is so patchy.

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  30. RRM (9,418 comments) says:

    [DPF: You really should not try and make things personal. My usual drink is diet coke, not alcohol.]

    I’m not judging you because you party hard!!! The tone of posts on this topic always reads to me as “personal crusade” is all.

    [DPF: Bad policy is bad policy. And I'm not even 100% against lowering the limit. I'm saying there is not sufficient research to do a proper cost benefit analysis. I'll make my mind up once I see the research]

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  31. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    What sort of crusade would a blogger have other than a personal one? Unless he were a paid blogger.

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  32. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    Clearly the Government needs to ban pedestrians and cyclists from walking/cycling with an iPod.

    I assume you’re kidding. It’s actually becoming increasingly hard to tell, comrade.

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  33. gravedodger (1,505 comments) says:

    Who cares, Darwinism is working just fine, suppose its a bit upsetting for the unfortunate motorist but the driver will be in line for some counselling.

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  34. dion (95 comments) says:

    > Clearly the Government needs to ban pedestrians and cyclists from walking/cycling with an iPod.

    What’s the bet Steven Joyce will try it?

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  35. redqueen (451 comments) says:

    Given that the Government believes in ‘pre-emptive’ measures, I doubt they’ll think twice about banning iPods while walking. The sheer fact that you can commit a crime without actually hurting anyone already, on the pretense that you ‘could’, is about as far from the Rule of Law as can be imagined. Dicey must be spinning in his grave.

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  36. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    It is obvious that bicycles are killing machines just as much as motor vehicles. They require full attention when being used and it is sad that a young woman has lost her life through not realizing this need. I am shocked at the careless driving habits of my son and DiL but as a guest in their home what can I say. Driving with one hand for long periods, talking on cellphone [ it is not illegal where I am currently] it scares me as a passenger. I early found that audio was a distraction I didn’t need decades ago and people are being irresponsible citizens not to pay full attention to driving riding. Even GPS, though a help in a strange city, is dangerous.

    You could say i-pods are also killing devices after the wellington woman was killed crossing Counrtney Place awhile back, or was it a cellphone which pre-occupied her? Stupid behavior in my view. Perhaps it is civilizations modern way of getting rid of the dumbasses.

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