New York, my homeland, is considering legislation that would levy a $100 fine for pedestrians who listen to a mobile audio device while crossing the street.
This, in my view, is cruel and unusual punishment for the iPod set. Sure, it's possible that listening to Slayer at 900 decibels might prevent you from seeing that Mack truck just before it splits your dome, but isn't that your decision to make as a pedestrian? Doesn't the pedestrian "always have the right of way," even if they're lost in la la land?
I'm more liberal than not in my political leanings, and I like to think that means respecting the rights of individuals. For the most part, the vast majority of people listen to iPods responsibly: while walking about town, on the subway, crossing the street, and so on.
At some level, people must govern their own actions and act responsibly outside of a set of legal strictures. While I'm not a lawyer, I'd love to see a legal mind argue against this bill with counter-legislation that makes it illegal to listen to the radio above a certain volume level (anyone remember the "red line" on the stereo from one of the opening scenes in Say Anything?).
Engadget has a hilarious picture of a chalk outline of a presumably murdered ipod here.
In sum, to quote Gizmodo: "This has got to be the dumbest ban I've ever heard of."