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Spinner Hubcaps, Peds with iPods and Cell Phones to be Banned by New York

February 17th, 2007 · No Comments

Sen. Morahan,

I am pleased to say that this is my first time writing to you as long as you have been my state Senator. I wanted to write because lately I have heard about some disturbingly frivolous pieces of legislation proposed by your colleagues. I am mostly concerned with two proposed bills, S1640 Sabini and S2698 Kruger. These bills are titled, “Prohibits the use or sale of hubcaps which contain parts designed to continue moving when the motor vehicle to which they are attached is not moving” and “Restricts the use of an electronic device while crossing a crosswalk in a city with a population of one million or more” respectively.

As a constituent of your district I urge you to consider the implications of these bills and vote against them summarily. Surely New York has issues that are more concerning to legislators than spinning hubcaps and iPod wielding pedestrians. My interest in these bills is twofold.

First, my father owns a tire store in the Bronx, and so Sen. Sabini’s proposal would directly impact his sales negatively by unfairly restricting his inventory to wheels that agree with Sen. Sabini’s aesthetic preferences. At the very least, I would urge you to ask Sen. Sabini to justify to the Senate the net benefit to the state that would be provided by his bill, with detailed cost-benefit accounting.
Second, Sen. Kruger’s proposal counter-intuitively affirms the right of a vehicle to be unimpeded over a pedestrian to be merely distracted, defying a long standing tradition of driver responsibility and “yield to pedestrians” that New York has espoused.

Further, Sen. Kruger’s proposal leaves a peculiar loophole to users of analog cellular telephones, for example an older Nextel push-to-talk phone. The bill reads, “The term ‘electronic device’ shall mean any type of instrument, device or equipment which is designed to transmit and/or receive telephonic, electric digital signals and access service as well as …” Note the bill specifies that only devices generating digital signals are regulated.

Another unintended consequence of this bill is that two-way radios used by New York City’s first responders, which are digitally trunked, would seemingly be regulated as well since there is no specific exemption afforded to emergency services (unlike the law regulating hand-held mobile telephone use by drivers which provides specific provisions for on-duty police et. al).

At least if Sen. Kruger wanted to write a 21st century jaywalking bill, he could have taken the time to be thorough. Again, I strongly urge you to vote against these bills as they are purely poppycock nonsense that clogs the legislative process in the face of more pressing issues.

Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,


Tags: Government & Politics · My Thoughts · Police, Law, & Justice · Technology · Telephones

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