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Remember When Ban Was a Deodorant?

By Jocelyn Geboy in News on Feb 13, 2007 3:50PM

A New York State Senator is proposing a ban on people using their cell phones, BlackBerries or iPods when crossing the street. Holy mother of interfering. When asked about this possibility for Chicago, Mayor Daley wasn't having any of it. "Good luck to enforce that," he said.

2007_02ipod.jpgWe are absolutely at a loss here. We don't want our aldermen constantly telling us what to eat, what to do, how to cross the street. We haven't lived in our parents' house since we were 17 for a reason. On the other hand, when we nearly get run over by distracted drivers and note that they are on their cell phones nearly every time, we have to wonder — what is the purpose of a law meant to stop exactly such activity if no one is actually getting busted for it? Is it akin to a "non-binding resolution?"

And as far as crossing the street goes ... well, welcome to pet peeve land. We know we bitch a lot — the jerks on the CTA who can't move in to the middle of the car; the people who let their kids run riot around restaurants; the idea that we just will never come around to the idea that dibs is OK. But when we see people (and yes, they are normally tourists) screwing up traffic, nearly getting run over and completely ignoring stop lights, we ask: do people actually get tickets for jaywalking? More importantly, what are all those people in neon doing out in the middle of the road? (Michigan Avenue is a big cause of eye-rolling and sometimes warning yells for us — "They've got an ARROW!?!")

We aren't going to lie. We jaywalk. But we know when and where to do it. 1. Places that we're intimately familiar with — lights/intersections that we cross and use every day. 2. Places in our own neighborhoods. 3. Deserted streets. 4. Times where we clearly can make the move, and we have checked and double checked and are NOT strolling across the intersection (and are usually late for something).

If we are not sure what the light pattern is, if it's a high-traffic area, or if we can't get our mojo working, we DO NOT JAYWALK. Period. It's not worth losing a limb or life for a few extra seconds. And for those drivers who insist on trying to blast through a line of pedestrians actually crossing with the little walking dude? We will slap the back of your car. It doesn't get hurt, but hopefully you will think about how hurt we could have been if you had run us over for an extra 10 seconds gained. Especially when you run into a red at the next light.

So, weigh in. Are you a walker? Driver? Biker? Are you always wearing headphones? Are you a constant chatter? Are you distractedly texting and Treo-ing? Have you almost gotten clipped? Was it your fault? Are you a big jaywalker? What's going on out there and how do you think things could be managed better? We know you have things to say about this.

"iPod Glamour" by marirs.