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Australia To Fight iPod Use By Pedestrians 450

Posted by Soulskill
from the hard-to-fight-that-logic dept.
Kilrah_il writes "In recent years the number of people killed on roads in New South Wales, Australia has dropped, but strangely enough, the number of pedestrians killed has risen. Some think it's because of the use of iPods and other music players making people not attentive to road dangers (the so-called 'iPod Zombie Trance'). Based on this (unproven) assumption, the Pedestrian Council has started a campaign in an effort to educate the people, but apparently it isn't enough. Now, some are pushing for the government to enact laws to help eradicate the problem. 'The government is quite happy to legislate that people can lose two demerit points for having music up too loud in their cars, but is apparently unconcerned that listening devices now appear to have become lethal pieces of entertainment,' [Harold Scruby of the Pedestrian Council of Australia] said. 'They should legislate appropriate penalties for people acting so carelessly towards their own welfare and that of others. ... Manufacturers should be made to [warn] consumers of the risks they run.'"
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Australia To Fight iPod Use By Pedestrians

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  • What the.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Who is RUNNING Australia?

    I mean seriously, this is STUPID

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is a penal colony. You have to expect that the rules and regulations are going to be stronger.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by causality (777677)

        It is a penal colony. You have to expect that the rules and regulations are going to be stronger.

        Yeah, and the USA is still a British colony that answers to the King George III.

        Really, who modded this "Informative"?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:09PM (#33494798)

          Really, who modded this "Informative"?

          New Zealanders

    • Re:What the.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by shadowblaster (1565487) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:29PM (#33494538)

      Apparently in about 30 minutes, Australians will find out who's going to run their country.

    • Re:What the.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by exomondo (1725132) on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:34PM (#33494940)

      Who is RUNNING Australia?

      I mean seriously, this is STUPID

      What retard is WRITING these headlines? Some doucher from some independent organisation comes out with the idea that pedestrians should be penalised for ipod use and somehow this is representative of Australia and/or the Australian government?

    • Re:What the.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cujo_1111 (627504) on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:43PM (#33494990) Homepage Journal
      It isn't common knowledge, but the Pedestrian Council of Australia is only one person, Harold Scruby. A year or two ago, he was responsible for 90% of complaints against TV ads, especially car ads. He is a fruit loop who likes to cause trouble
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DeathElk (883654)
        Not to mention the noise he make about cyclists.
      • Re:What the.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Orionn2000au (1491623) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @01:29AM (#33495444)
        A google search led me to their website, which suggests otherwise. http://www.walk.com.au/pedestriancouncil/page.asp?PageID=105 [walk.com.au]
      • Re:What the.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @02:25AM (#33495712) Homepage Journal

        He is a fruit loop who likes to cause trouble

        And therefore one of the most powerful and influential people in a modern democracy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:24PM (#33494492)

    Darn - Australia has gone to goodie two shoes fascists. Seems like all the news coming from there is about less freedom.

    • by causality (777677) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:25PM (#33494502)

      Darn - Australia has gone to goodie two shoes fascists. Seems like all the news coming from there is about less freedom.

      They are either following America's example, or they are showing America how to do it right.

    • The reason why (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:32PM (#33494552) Homepage Journal

      Seems like all the news coming from there is about less freedom.

      It's largely because all the news is bullshit.

      Australia does not have an internet filter.
      Nothing is happening in regards to this story

      Somebody making a noise about something, even if that person is a politician in government, is not the same as them actually doing something.

      • Re:The reason why (Score:5, Insightful)

        by causality (777677) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:35PM (#33494568)

        Seems like all the news coming from there is about less freedom.

        It's largely because all the news is bullshit. Australia does not have an internet filter. Nothing is happening in regards to this story Somebody making a noise about something, even if that person is a politician in government, is not the same as them actually doing something.

        The fact that Australia has politicians who are even willing to test the waters by floating such ideas says a lot by itself. It's how they wet their finger to feel which way the wind is blowing. If the idea shows support they run with it. If not, they distance themselves from it and the impression they leave is the one you express there.

        • Re:The reason why (Score:5, Informative)

          by scdeimos (632778) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:46PM (#33494642)

          The fact that Australia has politicians who are even willing to test the waters by floating such ideas says a lot by itself.

          Far be it for me to defend politicians, but this little bit of "policy" as you'd like to call it has come from a not-for-profit group that pretty much amounts to a "Club for Pedestrians".

          To wit: [walk.com.au]

          The Pedestrian Council of Australia is a non-profit organisation whose objectives are: the continuing improvement of the safety, amenity, access, health and environment of all pedestrians throughout Australia.

          • Re:The reason why (Score:4, Insightful)

            by causality (777677) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:50PM (#33494676)

            The fact that Australia has politicians who are even willing to test the waters by floating such ideas says a lot by itself.

            Far be it for me to defend politicians, but this little bit of "policy" as you'd like to call it has come from a not-for-profit group that pretty much amounts to a "Club for Pedestrians".

            To wit: [walk.com.au]

            The Pedestrian Council of Australia is a non-profit organisation whose objectives are: the continuing improvement of the safety, amenity, access, health and environment of all pedestrians throughout Australia.

            Sounds a lot like the Women's Christian Temperence Union. So perhaps I jumped the gun a bit; the politicians are the ones who follow shortly after.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Nursie (632944)

            Reading further it seems to be one guy with an agenda and too much free time!

        • Re:The reason why (Score:5, Insightful)

          by QuantumBeep (748940) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:47PM (#33494648)

          Go read aggregated local news anywhere in the US. Make sure you pay attention to actions by school boards.

          The world has no lack of abject morons, sanctimonious hypocrites, lawsuit-happy soccer moms, and pointy-haired bosses. And it's nothing new.

          • by Barny (103770)

            We need 2 points of informative and 3 of insightful stat!

            And as someone who has spent upward of 10 years walking to work either reading a book or listening with headphones, I can say that yes, doing either is dangerous unless you use common sense and your other senses. Of course doing both at once is suicidal.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hairyfeet (841228)

              The problem with that is this part of your sentence "unless you use common sense" which sadly in this day and age is about like this poster [motifake.com]. Hell just the other day I come up on a horrible bike wreck, I knew one of the cops handling the wreck so I asked Mike what went down "Oh the usual, just another moron paying attention to everything but what was in front of him while tailing a truck too close at 60MPH+". I swear if we can't even get morons to wear helmets or pay attention to what is going on when they a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AHuxley (892839)
        The theocracy that backed the filter is still alive and well, just under cover again.
        They know the tech works and will just wait to re introduce it under a left or right gov.
        It was tested, great interest was shown and much political capitol spent on it.
        I expect ID for ISP use to move in, IP tracking to a home address without court order might gain traction too.
    • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:55PM (#33494720)
      They should legislate appropriate penalties for people acting so carelessly towards their own welfare

      Everything that's wrong about nanny state in one sentence.
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @03:25AM (#33495970) Journal

        They should legislate appropriate penalties for people acting so carelessly towards their own welfare

        Everything that's wrong about nanny state in one sentence.

        Ever bought a cigarette or alcohol?
        You've paid "appropriate penalties for people acting so carelessly towards their own welfare" in the form of taxes.

        Ever see a home that's so run down it gets condemned?
        That's "appropriate penalties for people acting so carelessly towards their own welfare."

        I could go on and on, but I hope you get the point.
        Society has many laws designed specifically to 'nanny' people for either their individual or the public good.

    • by Cimexus (1355033) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @02:08AM (#33495644)

      No, it hasn't.

      Slashdot constantly keeps reporting about every little stupid idea that any Australian politician, local council member, random uninfluential lobby group or guy off the street comes up with. And reports it as if it were a) a done deal; or b) imminent and unavoidable. See also: mandatory Internet filter (Slashdot ~seems~ to think we have one, or that one is coming Real Soon Now. It's not. The proposal is essentially dead and buried).

      Some random person's ideas/proposals for new 'facist' laws does not mean those laws exist, or will ever exist.

      Most Slashdot headlines about countries outside the US are poorly researched, inflammatory, and in many cases, completely wrong. (This is probably also true about many headlines concerning the US too!)

  • Selection (Score:4, Funny)

    by VendettaMF (629699) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:27PM (#33494518) Homepage

    As long as they're eradicated before they breed I see no reason to interfere in this natural and culturally benevolent phenomenon.

    • by causality (777677) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:40PM (#33494608)

      As long as they're eradicated before they breed I see no reason to interfere in this natural and culturally benevolent phenomenon.

      The downside is all the perfectly good cars that might get damaged. I guess failing to account for that is why you were marked "Troll".

      • The downside is all the perfectly good cars that might get damaged. I guess failing to account for that is why you were marked "Troll".

        I doubt it. It's probably his "my shit don't stink" mentality. It's easy to imagine he has, or will, at some point in his life, have an avoidable close call.

        Put another way: There is not a statistic out there that says nobody who knows how to configure a web-server has ever been hit by a car.

        • Re:Selection (Score:4, Insightful)

          by causality (777677) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @12:11AM (#33495112)

          I doubt it. It's probably his "my shit don't stink" mentality. It's easy to imagine he has, or will, at some point in his life, have an avoidable close call.

          Why can't he believe that stupidity has a price even if he has done something stupid? Is there no room in your worldview for someone to have a belief and recognize that it applies to themselves as much as it applies to anyone else?

          You automatically assume blatant hypocrisy before anything like this occurs to you. I wonder if you appreciate what that means.

          Put another way: There is not a statistic out there that says nobody who knows how to configure a web-server has ever been hit by a car.

          Web servers have nothing to do with it, which must be why you're the first to mention them. There's only one kind of contrast here whether it comes from observing the world around you or having your own personal near-miss. One person thinks this is a product of chance or luck if they think about it at all. They are the higher-risk category. Another takes a look at the behaviors and decisions made that contributed to the event and made it more likely than necessary. They are the lower-risk category. This is straight observation. There is no claim of perfection in any of it.

          Back to the topic, this means that ever since some pedestrians have gotten killed this way, anyone who didn' t already know can learn, from their example, that paying attention is important when interacting with traffic.

          Now, you mentioned a "my shit don't stink" mentality. I'm reluctant to say it but you produced a bit of shit there yourself. It smells like someone who cannot understand a viewpoint that isn't his own, not because he has found a serious flaw in it, but because he doesn't like it. So you argue against an imaginary claim to personal perfection that no one was making. Does anyone see how that works? It's usually unintentional but unfortunately it's a common pattern in discussions everywhere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756)
      I'd have no problem with a person taking risks and getting killed due to it, as long as they didn't put anyone else at risk. Even if you ran across a busy freeway, you'd put others at risk because they might get into a wreck trying to avoid you. You could argue that it's their fault for trying to avoid you, but if they didn't, they'd put pedestrians at more risk, including those who don't do stupid things.
  • Duhh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by meglon (1001833) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:27PM (#33494520)
    Warning: Being STUPID can cause injury or death.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:28PM (#33494530)

    Just last week, a kid nearly killed himself on my car while texting on the phone and riding a bike going from the parking lot of a strip mall across a main street, with his free hand on the front brake lever.

    It was a 45mph zone and most cars zip through at 55mph at that point and it's not a place to expect pedestrians (nor was there a light). Luckily, I saw him and screech to a stop 10 feet in front of him, but he looked up and was so surprised and hit his own brake so hard that he flipped forward and took a total spill.

    He was cut up pretty good, could have been much worse, but hopefully his self-inflicted wounds cured him of his dumbassery. He looked 15 too, hope he remembers that lesson when he gets into a car.

    • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:48PM (#33494664)

      Funny you say that. That happened to me the other day while driving a loaded van. The kid was around the same age, maybe as young as 13 and just blindly rode his bike across the road. I had the light and he did not. Although I probably had more time to stop then you. I leaned on the horn and the stupid kid just looks up and then back to his phone blissfully pedaling away.

      I can easily see how all this electronic noise can be a danger. When I first bought my new multimedia phone (before smart phones) I tried walking to work with headphones on. After the first trip, I just couldn't do it again. I felt so cut off and not being able to hear my surroundings actually scared me. Save the headphones for the bus, train or killing time.

      • I usually mute the sound when crossing, even at a light; there are plenty of idiots who jump the gun when turning. But annoyingly on some headphones the volume doesn't go completely down to zero and there's no way to check before buying.

  • by syousef (465911) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:32PM (#33494558) Journal

    Having music devices around isn't the problem. Stupid overprotective mollycoddling laws are the problem. What you're probably seeing is the result of lowering the speed limit to 40km/hr around school zones while cutting back on educating kids about the danger of cars. The number of kids who should be old enough - in late highschool - to behave at least somewhat sensibly and look both ways, but instead blindly walk out in front of oncoming traffic because they know they won't be blamed if they or someone else is hurt is mind boggling. It is now way too RARE to see kids actually look both ways crossing a road.

    This is just a prime example of how badly the Australian political system has gone off the rails. In Australia we're happy to throw away freedoms left right and center, and if anyone else is doing well or having fun, we like to put a stop to it. It's sad, because I've lived here all my life and while there was always an element of Tall Poppy Syndrome [wikipedia.org] here it has gotten WAY out of hand. This country use to be a lovely place. In polite company manners counted. Now if you catch an (overcrowded hellish) Sydney train you're lucky not to get shoved out of the way or sworn at.

    We don't need new laws. We need enforcement of the existing laws. There is already a law in NSW against pedestrians walking out in front of a car. My cousin while 12 was almost charged because he blindly stumbled out from behind a bus and was hit. I'm in 2 minds about this. On the one hand at least the driver wasn't penalised when he could have done nothing to prevent the accident. On the other, do you really think it is a good idea to charge the victim of an accident, who may have been mamed by it? Or penalise the parent who now has to look after a sick child? Is that really what a stretched police force should be out doing? And these are already existing laws. Do we really need more of the same? The "Pedestrian Council of Australia" needs to have it's head read. I can just see it now "Were you wearing headphones when you were hit ma'am?" "Ah yes but I..." "No buts ma'am. I'm afraid we're going to have to place you under arrest".

    IDIOTS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LostCluster (625375) *

      The Walkman wasn't/isn't nearly as interactive as the iPod/iPhone. Much more random access storage and the ability to check e-mail and SMS and worse yet respond to such things is what trip people up.

      • by syousef (465911) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:42PM (#33494618) Journal

        The Walkman wasn't/isn't nearly as interactive as the iPod/iPhone. Much more random access storage and the ability to check e-mail and SMS and worse yet respond to such things is what trip people up.

        Mobile phones have been around for some time too. So have books and newspapers. Do I need to mention billboards? They have definitely cost lives, especially where they are of scantily clad women. What about daydreaming? Perhaps we should legislate against that too? Anythign to avoid having to educate people to watch where they are going.

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:41PM (#33494610)

      The number of kids who should be old enough - in late highschool - to behave at least somewhat sensibly and look both ways, but instead blindly walk out in front of oncoming traffic because they know they won't be blamed if they or someone else is hurt is mind boggling. It is now way too RARE to see kids actually look both ways crossing a road.

      I have a nephew who, with his group of emo friends, walks out in front of cars intentionally and laughs when they have to swerve and veer off-course.

      Of course, there is going to be a driver that isn't paying attention and one of those little emos are going to get hit. Whether or not they get the blame won't be the point. The point will be if they'll ever get to walk again and whether the guy is really covered insurance-wise. The minimum coverage a ton of people have in this country isn't going to cover shit when it comes to an extensive hospital stay, nevermind if you're crippled for life. And many people don't have enough assets to sue for. All those kids would likely end up doing it drive their own parents to the poor house or extended legal battles.

      It's shit like this that makes me want to put multipe cameras on my car just in case I do have an accident.

      • by causality (777677) on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:27PM (#33494896)

        And many people don't have enough assets to sue for.

        In an ideal world you'd be referring to the parents of the little bastards who actually walk out in front of cars on purpose. In the event that something happened, the driver should be able to successfully sue them for damage to his/her vehicle, any medical bills (for any occupants of the car), and emotional harm from having to find the best way to remove blood and brains from clear coat. They so clearly failed their duty as parents to instill any degree of sense into their children that they should be liable for all such damages.

        And don't give me that "how can anyone sue grieving parents" crap. The time to care about them is when they're still alive and can be taught better than that. It shouldn't take a smaller-than-standard coffin to make them wake up and realize that the TV wasn't such a great babysitter. Really, I'm tired of shitty parenting and the society of broken, whimpering, dependent, passive, shallow, childish, impatient people it's been producing.

        Some of you bleeding-heart types may think that's inflammatory. I'm not going to make you feel better. I'm going to tell you to get over it because it's the fuckin' truth. All I'm saying is this: if your kids think that deliberately walking out into traffic and scaring the hell out of drivers or maybe making them have an accident is great fun, while risking their own lives to do it, then yeah you've failed as a parent. That's exactly the sort of stupidity and bad decision-making you're supposed to have equipped them to identify. Really the whole immediate-self-preservation thing is one of the more obvious ones.

        • by angus77 (1520151) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @01:46AM (#33495548)

          In an ideal world you'd be referring to the parents of the little bastards who actually walk out in front of cars on purpose.

          As I teacher, I've seen more than my fair share of siblings where the one is a goody-two-shoes straight-A student, and the other was the classic problem child who didn't care about failing as they were too busy learning to light fires, etc etc etc.
          Would you praise the parents for the one child while condemning them for the other? They were raised in the same environment, came from the same set of genes.
          Parents can have an influence on how a child turns out, but they do not have the last say.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GrumblyStuff (870046)

      You know what would be great? Allowing kids to use their cellphones during gym. More specifically, dodgeball. Just amend the rules that as long as they use the phone, they can't go out and remain a viable target.

      I don't think it would take very long to catch on but then I'd be one of the ones more interested in throwing the balls.

  • Harold Scruby (Score:5, Informative)

    by hairyfish (1653411) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:36PM (#33494578)
    For those outside Australia, The Pedestrian Council of Australia is a fringe element run by a media whore and general looney Harold Scruby. Their role seems to be one of self importance and can be found offering their opinion about 'road safety' to anyone who'll listen (mostly pseudo current affairs type shows that like to drum up controversy). The best tactic here is to ignore anything they say. Like with most crazies, arguing back simply provides them with more attention than they deserve.
  • DEATH by iPod is being blamed as a contributing factor to the 25 per cent rise in the number of pedestrian fatalities in NSW.

    Here I was thinking it was all the bad drivers from Victoria moving up to NSW and Queensland. All this time it was the hordes of iPod Zombie Pedestrians.

  • demerits? (Score:4, Funny)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:37PM (#33494588)

    'The government is quite happy to legislate that people can lose two demerit points for having music .........

    Demerits? Sounds rather childish. But at least you lose 2 demerits, which sounds much better to me than being given 2 demerits.

  • They have a point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:38PM (#33494594) Homepage Journal

    If you ride a bike on a shared footpath in Victoria you are required to warn pedestrians before you approach them. You can do this with a bell or a verbal warning. But the vast majority of pedestrians wear earphones.

    So whats the point requiring a warning if it is not going to be heard? The only problem I have with the proposed changes is that it won't be applied to the drivers of vehicles too. Headphones and telephone use should be outlawed entirely.

    As a bike rider I don't want distracted pedestrians stepping into my path. Thats as dangerous for me as it is for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meerling (1487879)
      Many places here in the USA have laws against driving with headphones on, even though we are driving in cars that have more and more soundproofing and those without headphones are often playing their car stereos far louder than the effective volume the headphones could ever generate. (There are a bunch of idiots around here that often have their car stereos so loud you can clearly make out the song from inside my apartment 2 blocks away, and the windows are shut.)

      If it's a safety issue, they should mandate
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Zoxed (676559)

      If you do not mind shelling out then this will wake them up Air Zound [airzound.co.uk] :-)

  • by Phurge (1112105) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:43PM (#33494624)
    I just googled "harold scruby wiki" http://www.google.com.au/search?num=100&hl=en&q=harold+scruby+wiki&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai= [google.com.au]

    first result I got was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanker [wikipedia.org] !!!
  • iWalking (Score:5, Funny)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:45PM (#33494634)
    They should call the offense iWalking. Every modern country should reserve at least two letters of the alphabet for traffic offenses.
  • by mark99 (459508) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:45PM (#33494636) Journal

    Electric cars emit much less noise. I think we will need to have a protocol whereby iPods can sense potential collisions and warn the listeners. Cars are getting anti-collision devices and software anyway in the coming years, they shoud expand the protocolls to iPods too.
    Hmm - maybe I should patent that idea :).

    • by causality (777677) on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:00PM (#33494746)

      Electric cars emit much less noise.

      Shit man, if we're not careful people may even have to start paying attention when dealing with potentially dangerous situations. That'd be a real bummer, as it would waste a little precious time that could be spent on texting, music, and games. Thank God people have their priorities straight!

      It's also a great thing that laws could be made to sort this out. That would work like a charm, of course. It's only natural that people don't care if poor decision-making gets them killed, but they'll wise up really quick when it might get them fined.

  • by Fry-kun (619632) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:47PM (#33494650)

    [This Darwin award candidate] was struck and killed by a southbound Caltrain while crossing the tracks [...] Witnesses said at the time [he] rode his skateboard around a lowered crossing arm and was listening to headphones when he was hit [mercurynews.com].

  • A young fit healthy person gets hit by a car. Loss as a long term tax payer? Future dr, lawyer, teacher, arts person?
    Vs the low donation rate
    "Mr. Burns: I love children, particularly their young supple organs" (from FABF03 Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays)
    Think of all the productive people who will miss out. With safe cars for young drivers, this ipod bounce is good news for some.
  • by jimmyswimmy (749153) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:50PM (#33494678)

    If you are watching TV or texting or screwing your girlfriend while you're driving, you risk hurting yourself AND innocent other people who are following the rules.

    If you are listening to your ipod while you run across a street, you risk [mostly] hurting just yourself. I always thought it was my responsibility to look both ways and pay attention to what I'm doing. But I guess I need laws to remind me of that. This way, after I get hit by a car, I could get a ticket to boot. Sweet.

  • by evilsofa (947078) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:53PM (#33494704)
    How about people who are deaf like me? Will we get written up for walking around in a dangerous fashion and relying only upon our eyes to stay alive on the streets?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      How about people who are deaf like me? Will we get written up for walking around in a dangerous fashion and relying only upon our eyes to stay alive on the streets?

      Where I live it is accepted that deaf people can be educated to help them work around their inability to hear, while people who choose to be deaf by listening to loud music are impossible to get through to.

      My mother worked for her whole career teaching children with disabilities, BTW. He first job, before I was born, was teaching ballet to deaf girls.

  • For some reason, my earbud set came with only one earbud; annoying though this may be, as a side effect, it leaves the other ear open to hear normal environmental noise a bit better.

  • I want to invoke DARWINS LAW.

    If you're so completely retarded that you get yourself killed because you were listening to music/focussed on facebooking your ipod/updating your PING in iTunes - then SERIOUSLY YOU DESERVE TO DIE, the gene pool is better off without you.
  • Let people be free (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I saw the aftermath of what triggered this media coverage on Saturday night and it was not pretty, a 26 year old woman was jogging on Parramatta Road on the outskirts of the CBD with her headphones in her ears. An ambulance which had its sirens on was passing threough an intersection and she didnt notice it coming...she died at the scene despite the fact that she got instant attention from the occupants of the ambulance. For all the usual sardonic banter here on slashdot about natural selection et al it is

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GrumblyStuff (870046)

      Holy fuck how do you not notice an ambulance?!

      Never mind how loud the music would have to be to drown out the siren but ffs, it was at night and she didn't notice the flashing lights? Was she blind and had severely impaired hearing?

      And yeah, it is sad to die in such a preventable way and it's sad that the only words I can think of in response is "How do you fuck that up?"

      If you can't hear, you look. You look left, you look right, and you look left again. You watch for headlights coming up ahead and from

  • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel.bcgreen@com> on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:58PM (#33495052) Homepage Journal
    This is not a new problem.

    Back in the late 90's it was Sony Walkmans -- Pretty much the same problems, except that the units were much bigger (just the batteries were bigger than an ipod nano), and a casette tape only held about 2 hours of music (non-random access.. although you could fast-forward at much peril to your batteries).

    At the time a friend of my roommate volunteered for North Shore Search and Rescue, and a friend of his was a medical examiner who hated Walkman and like devices. He saw all too many fatal accidents, where the cause of the accident was a walkman preventing the victim from hearing the warning noises (horn, grinding machinery, evacuation siren and/or the desperate yells of onlookers, etc), but the official cause of death was always something else (smacked by a car, crushed by machinery, head ripped, suffocated, etc.).

    Thus it was that the Sony Walkman was always the bridesmaid of death, but never on the certificate.

    Then one day, a girl was hit by a train while walking on the train tracks, listening to a Walkman.

    The interesting thing is that she wasn't actually run over by the train. She was bounced off the track by the 'cow catcher' on the front of the train doing it's job. The real problem was that she was wearing the Walkman on her belt around the back .. just over the spleen (a very normal place to wear a walkman, since they were a bit too large to fit in most pockets). As a result, when she was hit by the train, instead of the force of the impact being relatively evenly distributed over her body by the cow-catcher, a good bit of it was concentrated into the Walkman and directed into her internal organs. Much like is claimed to have recently happened to a girl in Crete [bbc.co.uk].

    Although she seemed to (more or less) walk away from the accident, she soon collapsed and died from her internal injuries.

    Since the Walkman was a major contributing cause of the accident, and effectively delivered the killing blow, the examiner was finally able to put on a death certificate:

    Cause of Death: Sony Walkman.

  • by molecular (311632) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @01:12AM (#33495364)

    in other news, the association of seeing danger everywhere (famous for pushing legislation against children running) has found that last year, about 45% of all deaths occurred while people had fun and therefore concluded all fun should be banned. "it's just too lethal", a spokesperson said, adding that 63% of all lethal accidents happened outdoors, while 36% occured within walls. Efforts by the organization now focus on determining what the fuck happened to the missing 1%, so finally action can be taken to remove the deadly housing from peoples lives.

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