Wandering (ふらふら) businessman typing text messages on his Blackberry, chatty (ぺちゃくちゃ) cell phone users stopping in the middle of the street, iPod listeners ignorantly (ぼんやり) crossing streets as the light changes. Technology allowed New Yorkers to go mobile with their media, but it has also put their legs on auto pilot while they tune into games, email, and music.
Now one New York lawmaker wants to put an end to this habit of modern life. A newly proposed legislation (新立法案) would fine pedestrians and bicyclists $100 penalty if they use their iPod, cell phone, or other PDA while crossing a city street. “You can’t be fully aware of your surroundings if you’re fiddling with a Blackberry, dialing a phone number, playing ‘Super Mario Brothers’ on a Game Boy or listening to music on an iPod”, says the lawmaker.
The proposed legislation may not win public support but the lawmaker’s argument brings up an important point. Even in Japan, listening to iPod and writing emails on cell phones have become a part of everyday commute. However, studies indicate that pedestrians tuned into music or chatting on cell phones are more likely to be involved in accidents. Although injury incurred during commute between home and work is often compensated under the Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance Law, there is a clause that may make it ineligible for those iPod tuned and cell phone emailing commuters. Article 12-2 of the law limits the amount of eligible compensation if there is a degree of negligence on the commuter’s side.
Thinking about working in Japan? Preparing to move overseas almost becomes a full-time job in the final weeks of your departure. Many people quit their jobs weeks before so they can devote their time to preparation. But what about your health insurance? Short-term health insurance plans are a great solution. ↓
Below are links to Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultants providing services in English. Also below are useful links related to working in Japan and links to women balancing career and personal happiness. WJA realizes and promotes women's increasing value in the labor market.