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"LOOK"...it just seems so common sense. Why should an adult have to be reminded to look both ways before crossing the street? Why should a driver be told to keep his or her eyes on the road? Does the campaign seem silly? Of course! But if it gets even one person to lift his or head from that cell phone, and pay attention to his or her surroundings, then it may be worth it.
How many times a day do you see someone walking down the street while staring at his or her cell phone? How many times do you see distracted drivers texting or talking on their phone? Today, the Department of Transportation launched a safety campaign to try to protect pedestrians from drivers -- and vice versa.
The "LOOK!" initiative was unveiled at 110 crosswalks in the five boroughs. The pavement markings feature eyes inside the Os of the word "LOOK," reminding people to "watch" for oncoming traffic. The campaign will eventually include 200 intersections and ads on the backs of more than 300 buses. The DOT says driver distraction was cited in 9,200 injuries and 41 fatalities in New York City in 2010. What do you say?
How frequently do you encounter distracted drivers or pedestrians on the streets of New York City? Do you think the "LOOK!" campaign will work? If not, how would you try to improve the safety of pedestrians and drivers?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Just who came up with this brilliant plan?
Are they getting paid for this?
If the people are looking at their phones and not around them - how are they going to see
The signs are for the people that are not using the phones - and so its pointless.
The City is a hazard, between the phone addicted people and the bicyclists.
Start by writing tickets the same way cars get ticketed.
That should bring in lots of income.
Esmerelda, East Village, NYC
These cretins and their Ipods are public nuisances. They should be ticketed, fined and/or locked up for obstruction and disregard for others trying to use the sidewalk or enter the subway.
Port Richmond, SI
Just to numerous to mention how many times I have seen this happen.
Until today I am surprised that I have not been hit by a vehicle.
Talk about a close shave. That's to close for me.
We have dealt with this dangerous problem far to long and it's about time they come down hard on these people that insist on speaking while driving, walking and on the public transportation.
PROBLEMS LIKE THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN CARE OF LONG AGO INSTEAD OF SOME OF THE FOOLISHNESS THAT THEY GET HUNG UP ON.
I see people walking/driving and texting quite a bit, and I have seen near accidents as a result, the LOOK campaign might help but how do you get people to LOOK when they are obsessed with texting.
Felix Bay Ridge
This is no more than graffiti, and it's just one more kooky idea from Janette Sadik-Kahn. If she wants to improve pedestrian safety, she should eliminate her bike lanes, which serve a very small minority while compromising the safety of an exponentially larger group of New Yorkers who walk.
Jay -- Murray Hill
Idiots are going to be idiots, you can't save them from themselves. If they're too preoccupied to notice their own surroundings then they get what they deserve.
Terry, Howard Beach, Queens
As a pedestrian and driver, I think its absurd and quite naive like the current head of DOT. She refuses to put in four way stop signs or traffic signals and has these inane markings that force drivers to improperly turn or change lanes. Shes totally unqualified for her position and shes contributed to the problem with her imbecilic monocycle initiative. New yorkers cant wait till she leaves. Ba Bye.
sometimes when I walk down a busy manhattan street I feel like I'm living in a world of zombies who stare at small screens, make funny motions with their fingers and are oblivious to the world around them. People walk slowly or stop short right in front of me so that it's hard to avoid a collision.
it's just weird, like some science fiction movie.
Meryl from manhattan
Not sure about the LOOK thing, but I will tell you this; nothing irritates me MORE than to drive with a person in front of me who is texted and talking while driving and slowing ME DOWN! Talk about Road Rage! Seriously...people and this phone craze....I mean really..............I think perhaps something can be done to make it so that texting is NOT allowed by drivers, and cell phones will not work for drivers unless they are stopped.
Every thought of that?
One of the most important points that are necessary, and no just at city level, is to teach pedestrians to use the roads correctly. Too many walk or jog in the right side of the road, with the cars coming from behind. All what you need is one distracted driver and not only because the phone, GPS, radio, cigarette, meals, newspapers or make up being used or applied while driving. Sometime is the glare of the sun that makes very difficult to see in front. The first rule of safety when moving is to see and be seen, being first to see. Pedestrians on the road should always use the left side and see the cars than come in front of them, otherwise they are are putting their safety in the hands of people don't know and should not trust.
Might grab the attention of a few at first but will ultimately become NYC street art!!!!
Matthew of The Bronx
As a religious pedestrian I say kudos to DOT and the city. There are too many walking texters in the city. Its for our own good.
Jimmy from the Bronx
If Sadik-Khan would get rid of or rein in her beloved bicycle riders, then we pedestrians would be a lot safer. I am very careful about how I walk and cross streets, but hardly a day goes by when I am almost hit by one of those kamikaze delivery guys on the sidewalk or some oblivious twerp going through a red light or against traffic. I am developing a total hatred for cyclists.
I believe other cities have added similar messages on their streets; perhaps it's smart to study their results?
In my opinion, It's such an easy, and inexpensive addition, why not add it?
Sean, west village
The LOOK slogan looks ridiculous! I noticed the words stamped on the streets today at 42nd street and Second Avenue and my first thought was "what the hell is this?" Rather than helping me keep my mind on the street and crossing, I was busy looking down at the words wondering why the hell the word LOOK was written on the road. I don't think this is a good safety measure. Money could have been put to better use.
Being behind the wheel itself, good people turn into monsters. Licenses should require courtesy training. Drivers are blasting horns at all hours of the night or day for any perceived inconvenience, running lights without a second thought and need help being good citizens.
It may seem useless to some but if it saves just one life then it is effective. The intention is good and for that I am a supporter. If you find that it is a distraction then you are not a real new yorker. The point is to get off the phone and PAY ATTENTION!
Here's what would actually work: two signs at every entrance to Manhattan from bridges, tunnels, highways: (i) No Right Turn on Red; (ii) a pictogram of a cell phone, a plus sign, a steering wheel, and an equal sign, followed by the words "$200 and 3 points on your license." At least with cars, these two signs would have more impact that anything else.
Upper West Side
I love the "Look" signs on the crosswalks. Earlier this week I was walking across the street, looking down at my phone like an idiot. Then I saw the sign for the first time and looked up! It made me smile and second think my actions.
Allison in Inwood
Pedestrians need to pay more attention as do the cyclists and drivers. Bicycle commuting has doubled b/w 2007 and 2011 and aims to triple by 2017 so get over the cyclists. Over half a million cyclists currently in NYC.
Most car trips in the city are less than a mile in distance therefore drivers need to wait to get to where you're going to use your phone or do it before you leave. pedestrians need to pay attention and not cross against the light or in the middle of the street where there is no crosswalk and bikers need to not run red lights and slow down when approaching an intersection. This coming from an avid biker.
Brian in Brooklyn
Make the police officers stop using their phones first.
They drive and talk not with hands free devices the hold the phone on their hands.
as a new York city bus driver, I see people standing in the street, curb with ear phones , eye phones, and no sense of direction. people drive crazy if they only knew ?
The police will never enforce the "no texting" law because they are all on their telephones, talking and texting, while they are on-duty!
I have recently reported this to 311.
No wonder there was a riot during Fashion Week at Bleeker and Bway.
The police force is at fault for no enforce any of the laws, ie: parking in bus stops and TEXTING!!
People are too selfish to stop texting...and who would enforce any statute against this...I see police everyday on their own cell phones not paying attention to what is going on around them
The Look insignia just painted at a busy Queens crosswalk is constantly covered with litter and is barely visible at times.
Some drivers are simply irresponsible. They ignore stop lines and rush their large vehicles right into crosswalks, looking more for other vehicles, than for the more vulnerable pedestrians.
I suggest lowering the speed limit to 5 or 10 miles an hour in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. Also, enact stricter laws and make sure the laws are enforced.
As far as I'm concerned, it's the drivers' responsibility to ensure the safety of pedestrians. If they fail to do that, take away their vehicles, their licenses and lock them up.
Some drivers will even go so far as to threaten pedestrians with their vehicles. They're rushed and don't want to have to wait for pedestrians to cross the street. As one of your callers was quoted, "If a pedestrian walks into a crosswalk with their phone, they deserve to get hit." And drivers who threaten or hit pedestrians on busy city streets should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Please. It's out of control. People think if they don't make eye contact, then *you're* responsible.
We need an equivalent of a "speed bump" to show there are consequences to our actions.
anne from Brooklyn heights
As a person with a disability (blind) I had to learn how to cross streets safely by listening to the traffic patterns. Using my ears to not only hear the cars, but to know which way they are moving and to step out quickly when the light turned in my favor.
So many times I've been walked into by people who have their heads buried in their cell phones texting, or something. talking, or just "star gazing."
I wont even get into the ones who jay walk especially the ones with kids in toe.
Personally I think that everyone is so much in a hurry they forgot about their safety. Just HURRY HURRY!!
Whatever it is, it will be there long after your either laid up or dead. So LOOK! & WAIT FOR THE LIGHT!
Zerline & Margo
How appropriate. This is John from Williamsburg. I called because I saw a young woman walk into a blind man on the street - and he had a cane and was tapping the pavement loudly. He was far more aware of his surroundings than she was.
Cell phones these days are sophisticated computers; we have become (especially in NYC) a society of multitaskers - modern times demands it - but we haven't figured out how to adapt this to our daily physical lives. We are too many places at once to be aware, to actually be here now! Have you noticed that people don't look each other in the eye as much these days? The new campaign may bring some awareness to a real problem (try getting on a crowded subway at rush hour - there's a real difference since the smart phone showed up for the ride). I'm not sure how much it will help, though.
John from Williamsburg
I see a lot of police talkin on phones and textin while driving. I can understand if there doin there job. But what about the ones who are on personal calls. That's the problem wit nypd they're ready to ticket or lock u up win they see u doin this but get away wit it all the time. What I can't ha an emergency that I need 2 be on the phone.
Today on the Gowanus a lady caused a traffic jam because she was dialing her phone and merging into another lane. There was an empty lane she was blocking a quarter mile of empty road. Who is gonna give her a ticket
This must be BY FAR the dumbest debate I have ever seen. This is where my tax money is going? "LOOK" at the way this administration throws money away. I am specifically railing against the pedestrian restrictions. I cant text and WALK now? Pedestrians have the right of way no matter what. People need to stop being so sensitive and live and let live. If someone gets hit by a car for texting that is THEIR problem, not ours, no tax money should be going towards that. What happened to personal responsibility? The government is not my father, I can cross the street perfectly fine!! This is coming from a liberal, who is FOR restricting soft drink sizes. This is unbelievable. This is a city, people will get hit by cars, they will bump into each other, etc etc. NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS A NEW LAW.
Jonathan, in Sunnyside.
I work at an emergency service call center.
The phone number is requested at the end if the call.
People would rather loose contact with first responders, thus preventing emergency and life saving instructions from being given than to give up their cell number or access to the line.
They even talk about the minutes being used.
That's what. I call passion.
It should be treated as jay walking. And upgraded to a felony if the person is pushing a stroller or walking with a child under 10.
The fittest will survive without the LOOK logo and we're better off as a species without the rest. Excelsior.
I can't believe only 76 percent think you shouldn't text in cross walks. That's absurd that 24 percent think that it is a good idea to be texting IN THE STREET. You can even be hit by wild drivers on the sidewalk (not that rare in NYC!) Considering the people have devices, fining would be easy if they coordinated with cell phone companies!
When Will you highlight how a Lobbyist -- transportation alternatives -- has hijacked City DOT policy (and expenditure). Wrong way... Speeding through lights... Riding on sidewalks... NO problem now.
Let's also target the people that are eating, drinking coffee, putting on their makeup while they drive, we could go down a long list on what people shouldn't do while they drive however it is a moral & safety responsibility that we should have for one another therefore the police should be out there fighting crime not reminding you constantly how you should act as a human being...
Isabel from Brooklyn