back to article Oz cops sound iPod road cross death warning

We didn’t realise it, but an MP3 player can kill you. According to Australian police, that is, who have launched a series of hard-hitting posters designed to stop people crossing roads while changing tracks. NSW_road_death_poster New South Wales MP3 death poster Created on behalf of New South Wales (NSW) traffic cops, the …


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  1. Kevin Rudd

    Darwinian theroy in action.

    No great loss to the gene pool.

    I feel sorry for the motorists that run these tossers down though.

    Poor motorist will feel a pang of guilt for a nano-second.

  2. Adam Clarkson

    Darwin strikes again

    Surely most of this goes without saying El Reg? If we are listening to music walking around surely you would note the loss of your hearing sense and then take extra care to look?

    If you cross the road without headphones in looking at the floor you raise your chances of meeting an untimely doom at the hands of an 18 wheeler do you not?

    mines the one with a white stick next to it

  3. jai


    i'm not sure this is a good idea

    if someone is too stupid to look up and check traffic when about to cross a road, is it not a good thing to remove them from the gene-pool?

    it's for the common good of the species that the defective dna is removed by a ton of fast moving metal

    and what about txt'ers - surely the same problem exists for those sending messages via mobiles?

  4. Stu


    ...just how dumb ARE our opposite-side-of-the-world convict colony buddies?

    Does the next Aussie ad campaign have anything to do with Laser pointer safety?

    Alien icon cos, well, they're just so different to us people wiv dem brainz.

  5. Geoff Spick
    Paris Hilton

    Suitable Oz-flavoured death anthems

    You've been thunderstruck (by a double decker)

    New sensation (of being rather flatter than I was)

    We can't be beaten (only bruised and fractured)

    Elegantly wasted (I appear to have been struck at speed by a Rolls Royce)

    Paris because she might do AC/DC

  6. Ash


    Walking down the pavement to the local shop, listening to Davidian on full volume (Heavy metal... very loud), turned around to look before crossing the road, and saw a drivable mower following me! God knows how long it had been there, blades wurring.

    Ignorant pleb.

  7. Alastair Dodd
    Thumb Up

    Genius advert

    and it's obvious that people using headphones have always been at risk and with such clear audio you get from a decent set of headphones (not the ones that come with an ipod obviously as those are rubbish) you have to have the volume up quite high to drown out other noises which means you don't notice the next set of pissed up wankers talking on their mobile phone coming up behind you until you bounce off the bonnet or bull bars...

  8. Mike Crawshaw

    I'm safe then!

    As I use a SanDisk mp3 player with a black cable...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    "Does this mean only iPod users are at risk, we wonder?"

    Yes, because the type of people that would buy one, is the type of stupid person who has total lack of decision making.

    "Should I cross? or not cross? Ah everyone is crossing, I will do the same..." splat.

    Someone must be stupid to cross a road without looking even if they can hear, let alone if they can't. Evolution I say, let them die.

    Survival of the fitest, Death to the stupid.

  10. Solomon Grundy

    Why Now

    Why is crossing the road without looking suddenly a big deal? One of the earliest lessons from my childhood was to look both ways before crossing the street, then look again. That and don't take candy or car rides from strangers unless they look friendly are some of the most important things I've ever learned.

  11. Ferry Boat

    @Kevin Rudd

    Is that a Zen Nano Plus second?

  12. John Sykes

    Aussie Rules - Jaywalking!

    It's about time the problems of jaywalking pedestrians was addressed in the UK too. Drivers are always held to be responsible, unless there's a witness to say otherwise. Pedestrians have a responsibility to observe rules and common sense, for their own and everyone else's safety. If we all drove like we walk (especially pushing supermarket trollies) there would be sheer carnage on the roads!

  13. Ryan

    Am i safe?

    My iPod Touch has black i then semi-safe?

    Wheres a lollypop lady when you need one.

  14. Andy ORourke

    Where can .........

    I get a pair of those really long headphone cables?

  15. Martin

    I nearly hit one of these goons the other day;

    She was far more interested in texting Chantelle or whoever than watching for cars.

    I have an easy solution that will prevent the vast majority of people from being run over; simply tell all the drivers to keep their vehicles on the road, and tell all the pedestrians that the road (the long black thing between the pavements) is home to literally millions of fast moving heavy hard objects, and that they really ought to watch the f*ck out if theyre planning on walking on it. Parents will be instructed that children should not be allowed to cross roads until they too understand this concept.

    Anybody (driver or pedestrian) who does not understand these facts shall be beaten over the head with the latest copy of The Highway Code.

    Job done!

  16. neil hanvey
    Dead Vulture


    surely he's more in danger of tripping over that 30ft long headphone cable?

    dead bird cuz it looks like it was crossing the road with its iPod on

  17. Simon Day

    Headphones or not people are oblivious

    I think I encountered the most stupid pedestrian yet this morning.

    I cycle through london to get to work (yes I know, thats practically a death wish) - the last turn into the street my office is on is a small one, but still quite obviously a road.

    I indicate for a good 20 yards since I know people don't pay much attention - I used to have a bell on the bike but after 6 months of extremely heavy use it has snapped, that that as an indication of how little attention many people pay.

    Turning round the corner a guy steps into the road, completely without looking (not very safe as construction is going on further down the street so plenty of heavy vehicles take that same corner)

    To my cry of "CAREFUL!" he answered "NO!"

    I have to wonder what form of logic dreams this up.... and whether he'd say the same to 17 tonne lorry...

  18. Geoff Mackenzie

    I don't know.

    I have to say that despite being more often a driver than a pedestrian, though, I have some *thump* sympathy for the ped - oh, shit, sorry!

  19. Jeff Rowse
    Thumb Up

    @John Sykes

    Doesn't matter if there are witnesses or not - the anti-car lobby has successfully gotten it to the point where government figures will always blame the driver if a car is involved. The best example was a drunken cyclist who bounced along the side of a dozen or so cars while the Police filmed him - the cars were parked, engines off and NO DRIVERS, but the official statistics showed that it was the drivers who were at fault because if the cars had not been left there overnight, the drunken moron could not have hit them.

    Likewise, if a child is hit by a car, it is always the driver's fault. Even when the child is doing something really, really stupid like running out from between parked cars or cycling across a pelican crossing (yes, the ones with the little green and red men for the pedestrians and the traffic lights for the cars) without looking and the little red man is there to say "Don't cross now, the cars are moving..."

    Yes, as a car driver I am responsible for making sure I drive in a manner that makes things as safe as possible for other road users - including idiots. But that does not mean I am solely responsible, nor that I am at fault if some fool walks out in front of me without looking.

    Which, it seems, is the idea behind these ads - trying to get the message through to the iPod-wearing fools that they are not invincible and need to take more care if they are wearing headphones...

    Go Aussies!

  20. AlMac

    @ Stu

    It's not just the Ockers suffering at the hands of scrotes with laser pointers. Yesterdays local papers in Mankychester were running with the story of a particularly dumb young scally who decided it would be fun to shine his laser pointer into the cockpit of a Police Helicopter. Apparently after getting over being dazzled, the pilot and crew did what they do best and hovered around until they spotted where the beam was coming from and promptly bathed his bedroom window in light from their searchlight and then called the ground plod units in to arrest him. Job done, scrote caught.

    The idiot shouldn't really have tried it on with an aircraft capable of hovering, taking the time to work out where the beam was coming from and then pointing it out to all and sundry.

    Fire because some kids haven't got the sense to be trusted with matches.

  21. Steven Raith

    Paying attention

    I have an old iRiver and a nice pair of Shure E110s, which are sound isolating headphones - basically industrial earplugs with a speaker inside. Brilliant for blocking out free-paper touts, gimboids yacking into their phones at the top of their voice on the train, and the nervous anxiety-attack inducing caucophony of noise that is the Victoria Line at rush hour.

    And yet, I honestly can't remember having any problem crossing the road - perhaps because I pay extra attention because I *know* that beyond some serious treble [alarms] and serious bass [heavy lorry passing, or a tasty, straight-through V8] I'm effectively deaf to the outside world.

    I have *never* understood the people who I see just stepping into the road staring at their mobile, with the headphones in - they are effectively both deaf *and* blind - and it makes me wonder how long they stay alive around central London like that.

    Note, wonder, not worry - as far as I am concerned, the mouth breathing retards can all fuck off and die. Their safety isn't my lookout when they are otherwise capable of doing it themselves if they had an ounce of common sense.

    With the exceptions of the young mums, with phones, mobile, and pushchair, who use their kids as bargaining chips with the traffic. They make me very, very angry.


    Steven R

  22. kain preacher

    @Jeff Rowse

    There are some states in the US the car has the right away. Happy squishing.

    Mines the one with the slim jim and GTIV in coat pocket.

  23. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Why are they complaining ?

    Why are they complaining , in the suburb I live in it has three out of the most ten fatal intersections in a capital city no less for both cars and especially pedestrians legally crossing the road on a green walk sign for the entire city (dumb stupid motorist is too lazy to wait for the pedestrian to run flat out across the crossing or too stupid to see the car that wipes them out either ?).

    Further to add insult to injury, the local hospital treats some 82% of all bicycle riders injured by motor vehicles driven by morons in this thriving metropolis of four million souls deliberately bumping into them as they ride down one certain road down by the sea . Mind you in this town we have also had a two wheeled menace or two kill a pedestrian or two whilst they are legally walking across the road too with a green walk sign at a red light or on the designated footpath too .

    Although the current classic case of hit and run , is that the local police are still looking for what we think is a Blonde white young female driving a black Toyota Kluger fall over with a young school girl in uniform as a passenger , according to eye witness reports deliberately aim for , then run over and kill a lone cyclist on the same stretch of road not all that long ago !

    On one intersection every time you cross even though you are in full view complete with eye contract with the nut behind the wheel you need a set of feeler gauges to measure just how close they come to either driving over your front foot or your posterior even with the sign flashing red give way to pedestrians and the green walk sign active !

    Such is life , why indeed should they complain , if they had to live in my suburb , it would be a very different story indeed !

    Strangely , I seem to recall back last century not all that long ago another portable music device whom the record companies blamed for killing music had a similar problem too , will we see the end of mp3 players and the return of the Boom Boxes again ?

    Life is but one endless circle of repeats irrespective of the technology at our fingertips !

    Oh well , time to put those old Jazz 78's from the thirties back on the turntable !

  24. Gary F


    Why are the first 3 posters talking about Darwin?

    The article clearly states that the posters are from New South Wales, not the Northern Territory.

    (Aussie joke there - sorry, couldn't resist)

  25. Brad

    One of those ad campaigns

    Where the visual was come up with first and they needed a cause to assign it to.

  26. Anonymous from Mars

    Headphone cable?

    Am I the only one whose first thought was, "Wow, that's a long headphone cable!"

  27. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Not just pedestrians!

    I've seen people driving around with earphones in twiddling with their MP3 players. Driving!

  28. John Sykes

    Here's a Solution ...

    ... let's set up a system where pedestrians must have insurance, same as motorists. It can even be 3rd party only, if they're not worried about their own injuries. For "walkman" users, it could be included with purchase as an annual fee. This would give pedestrians a financial incentive for being careful when crossing or walking on roads. It would also recompense entirely blameless drivers when they get dents (or worse) in their cars. To be fair, cyclists should also have to pay insurance premiums for similar reasons. I saw a guy the other day, riding fast on a racing-style bike, with earphones in, attached to a "walkman" strapped to his handlebars. If that was me, I'd want to hear what all us motorists were doing around me BEFORE I turned right across a following truck ... yes he did, but lucky for him the truck driver anticipated the move.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...the anti-MP3 campaigners also believe that deaf people should never cross the road?

    The issue isn't not being able to hear, but not paying attention - which has nothing to do with music, and everything to do with... err... not paying attention. I'm just as likely to get clobbered by a vehicle if I'm gazing at an LED sign across the street, thinking about the dot pitch and size of the sub-elements, and whether they curve each element to match the building curve or if they just make a bevel on all of them. Not that I've ever done such a thing. It's hypothetical.

  30. John Sykes

    @Jeff Rowse

    Sadly, Jeff, I think you're right. Several years ago, on her way to work, my wife was driving sedately through a recently built housing estate with grass verges at least 40 feet wide between road and houses on both sides. Except for one spot, where an old pub had been left at the roadside ... with an enclosed bus-shelter right outside. She knew the road well, but despite this still encountered a kid wearing a "Parka" (in June!) who walked straight out from behind the shelter. The hood was even more efficient than a "walkman" at obliterating his senses and he bounced off the front nearside of the car bonnet and wing. Fortunately for him ... and my wife ... there was an ambulance parked a little way up the road on the other side. The driver saw what happened and ran over to help. He gave my wife his card and said that he would be her witness to the fact that she was entirely blameless for the accident. The ambulance immediately took the kid to hospital, with a broken leg and bruising. My wife's insurance had to pay an emergency medical fee of £25 and, following the car repairs, they tried to reduce her NCB and collect an excess of £50. After a good deal of heavy correspondence from me, they relented on all of this. We moved the insurance cover shortly afterwards. Happily, the kid was OK and the Police never got involved, otherwise ... who knows what might have happened. And that was without a "walkman".

  31. Anonymous Coward

    History repeating

    Funnily enough I was thinking about just this topic as I walked down the street, playing with my nano (ipod you japesters)

    I recalled a BBC news item from about 1982 about exactly this fear with the then-newfangled Walkman. Road safety campaigners were up in arms etc. I'd love to leave it there but as someone above wrote:

    "But that does not mean I am solely responsible, nor that I am at fault if some fool walks out in front of me without looking."

    A few years back I was driving down one of those suburban streets where cars are parked both sides, leaving room for at most two cars to squeeze by. Living on the street, I knew kids played on it, and it was about 4pm in the afternoon.

    For this reason I was driving at about 15mph (well below the 30 speed limit) when a kid on a bike pulled out between two tightly parked cars.

    As it happens his timing was lucky: he pulled out as I was going past, his front wheel of his bike hit my rear car wheel, and the kid fell off his bike.

    I stopped, got out to check he was ok, and gave him a bollocking that I hope he learned from. There was nothing I could reasonably have done any better that could have made my driving safer - and if he'd have pulled out a second earlier it would all have been a bit different. (I have no doubt they'd have tried to pin it on me too.)

    I now *always* drive carefully in situations like that. You would too.

    So I guess you can never be too careful eh?

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