Pump down the jams

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The death of a Kenyan man in the quiet streets of Cranbrook, B.C. is prompting warnings from authorities that pedestrians must remain diligent and alert when listening to portable audio devices like MP3 players and Ipods.
The victim, 23-year-old Isaiah Otieno, had a helicopter crash on top of him while listening to his favourite tunes, killing him instantly.
Clearly ours is a society prone to becoming distracted. Too often we find our elected handlers drafting and passing laws to protect us from ourselves; banning cell phone use in cars, making helmets mandatory and, on a municipal level, the ongoing debate whether skateboarding is a crime, as in the case of a young business owner in Fredericton who chose jail over paying a fine for popping ollies on his way to work.
For some reason, though, the plight of the portable music listener has gone undefended with few activists -- let alone an MP -- to carry the torch and defend the safety of these distracted disco listeners. Rather than draft legislation deeming a specific decibel as a safe level for members of the public to utilize when throwing themselves into the world of cars, planes, trains and helicopters citizens are left to their own devices and put the onus of their health and safety on everyone else when they crank up the volume. Enforcing such a law, believe it or not, would be an easy task. It would just be a matter of asking manufactures to mark the public safety decibel level on the volume control and for a cop to shout out, "Hey, you." If the person is responsive they are enjoying their music at a level that is not damaging to their safety. If they don't respond then obviously they are distracted and a menace to their own health and should be fined.
Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but an Internet search of earphone related deaths reveals this is a global issue. In the United States a 21 year old Brookland man's death after being hit by a bus while listening to an Ipod prompted one senator to seek out a law banning Ipod use while crossing the street (the bill was defeated). In Australia an ad campaign is on the move following a similar death of a 16 year-old.
It might seem like a silly law but, let's face it, skateboarders are being thrown in jail for less.

Geographic location: Cranbrook, Fredericton, United States Brookland Australia

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