Walking and Talking…and Listening?

We’re all well aware of the dangers of texting or talking on our cell phones while driving. Now it seems there’s momentum gathering to prohibit texting and cell-talking while walking. CBS news shared this video of a Pennsylvania woman falling head-first into a mall fountain while texting. Then there’s this story about the New York teenager who fell into an open (and unattended) manhole…straight into a pile of raw sewage.

Eeeew! I’m not a texter (averaging 2-3 text messages per month), but the possibility of an impromptu swim, especially in raw sewage, would have me changing my texting habits.

State officials in Arkansas are going a step beyond simply texting or talking while walking. They’re considering legislation to “ban pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears while on, parallel or adjacent to a street, road, intersection or highway. The measure also applies to runners and cyclists and would allow pedestrians to wear headphones in one ear.”

Whoa, waitonecottonpickin’minute. This one does affect me. I can’t be walking through the neighborhood bobbing my head with Apl.de.ap with only one earphone. There’d be all these distractions–like lawnmowers or runaway buses or potential muggers.

Okay, I get it. Maybe there’s some validity to the idea. Safety first! So from now on, I’ll do the one ear thing if I’m walking through the neighborhood. (No one said I had to like it.)

But watch out when I hit the trails. I’ll be fully plugged in and singing along with Bambi and Thumper!

And praying some crazy texting cyclist doesn’t bowl me over from behind!

Confession time! (It’s good for the sole! Hee!) Are you a walker/runner/rider-texter or -talker? Are you like me and have both ears occupied with tunes or books, instead of focusing on something important, like danger at every turn? (Some of you will, like me, have to think back on warmer months. Not many out-of-control buses careening through the gym.:))

Side note: I’m heading out to Blissdom tomorrow and would appreciate some positive vibes as we’re under a winter storm watch tonight and tomorrow. I can’t really afford to lose the registration $$$, but I’m not driving on icy roads. I’m not leaving until close to noon, and I hope we’ll have some sunshine and melting by then. Fingers crossed!

18 thoughts on “Walking and Talking…and Listening?

  1. I walk from the train station to work every day… it would seem like a much longer trip if I couldn’t listen to my iPod. I don’t think they can legislate common sense, nice as the idea sounds. People have to learn to adapt the new technologies to our existing routines, and vice versa, without hurting anyone including themselves.
    And positive vibes are duly being sent your way!

  2. I suspect I’m going to be the radical on this one, but I totally agree with the idea of the ban even though I dislike the government intervention. Just wish people would use common sense and think of safety first. I am an avid walker/hiker and I’ve seen some examples of stupidity that have made my ears curl. Enough said!

    As for me, I’ve never worn earphones or listened to anything while walking or hiking. There is way too much to be seen and heard along the way. Plus, I’ve had some of the most fascinating conversations with a brilliant individual – ME! LOL!

    Have a great time at Blissdom. By the time, I got around to registering, the Weds sessions and the hotel were sold out. My bad!

  3. I don’t think we need legislation…more laws to protect us from our own stupidity. Unfortunately, this is way some people need to learn that it’s not a good idea to walk and text…I don’t think a law will fix it.

    Have fun at Blissdom! I wish I was going…maybe next year!

  4. Okay – don’t shoot me for taking the other side. As a non-crazy, non-texting biker who comes up on walkers or runners and tries repeatedly to warn them that I am going to, or trying to, pass. Yikes! IMO it is dangerous not to be able to hear what is coming up behind you.

  5. When I was a runner, I had to have my iPod, but I ran solo in rural areas without any traffic, on foot, on bike or otherwise. Now I am a cyclist in an urban area and I bike on well traveled city paths and I do not listen to anything. It’s too dangerous. I’ve got to keep all senses available to hear the Lance-Armstrong-wannabes coming up fast behind me and I have to watch out for the iPod’d masses of walkers and joggers who don’t hear my courtesy call out and are likely to step out in front of me.

    All that being said, I don’t want legislation of this kind.

  6. I’m one who wears only 1 earpiece while walking/jogging. You get used to it – hearing both music and the sounds around you – like cars and nature. I’ve only encountered one song that is wonky without both earpieces – California Dreamin’ by the Mamas & the The Papas… weird….

    Don’t really like that government has to legislate in order to keep us safe… but then… not everyone thinks about safety…

  7. Hey Cammy, it’s Roxie! I have a new blog now, so hope you can come check it out soon. My old blog was Cute by Comparison with my Sister, if you remember.
    I’m not a texter/walker, just good ol’ walking on the treadmill at the gym. I do wear earplugs (2 to be exact), but don’t think I’ll wind up in a manhole anytime soon. LOL

    Have a great day!

  8. I never, ever ride my bike with headphones on, even on the trails. Just too dangerous. I do run with headphones on, but I don’t have the volume up so loud that I can’t hear what is going on around me. One of my biggest peeves when I am riding on the trails is when I shout out that I am passing and someone doesn’t move over because they can’t hear me with their music. And they are usually running right down the middle of the path, too.

  9. I don’t wear the earbuds (they don’t fit y ears), my headphones are loose enough and my music low enough that I can hear what is going on around me – my husband, however listens to music so loud while he is riding his bike that he can’t hear anything. I just hope nothing bad has to happen for him to learn a lesson.

    As for the texting while walking – it is like the no hand held phone while driving law here – people just ignore it and do whatever stupid thing they believe they can, whether it is safe or not.

  10. I’m not a texter at all. I might have headset and phone for walking, but don’t really listen to music on headphones.
    I just don’t know. If only people could be trusted to know they need to be able to hear what’s around them even while listening to music…

    Fingers crossed for good weather for you!!

  11. I can’t chew gum and text at the same time! I did see that video of the lady falling into the fountain though. Too funny!

    Fingers crossed the weather holds out for you – have a safe trip!

  12. Cammy! I’m so jealous that you are going to Blissdom!

    And about the texting thing – what? You text that little? I text a crazy amount… but NEVER while driving. And rarely when walking – it is dangerous!

  13. I have a shuffle, but don’t know how to get music onto it. I always walk sans music, and I like it that way.

    And Hope you get to blissdom safe and sound!

  14. I have a shuffle, but don’t know how to get music onto it. I always walk sans music, and I like it that way.

    And Hope you get to blissdom safe and sound!

  15. I think texting while walking, driving, cycling, etc is just stupid and if you fall it’s your own fault. The woman who fell in the fountain now wants to sue all and sundry for her own stupidity!

    I’m not opposed to walking with earphones, but cycling would be too dangerous.

  16. I never text ppl when I’m walking, cycling or driving. but I do listen to me ipod but only with 1 earpiece in while walking. Its too bloody dangerous where I cycle to listen to music.

  17. Waitonecottonpickin’minute…are we still living in the “land of the free.” When commuting I’m usually plugged in but keep the volume low or one earphone out if it’s crowded or busy. I’m just waiting for them to pass a law making it illegal to walk and chew gum at the same time.

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