NYC: Shut Off Your Cell Phone Or Else

from the its-the-law dept

Back in October we mentioned that New York City was looking into banning cell phones at performance venues. The City Council thought it was such a good idea they have gone ahead and approved the bill. Under the new bill it will be illegal to talk on the phone, listen to one and or allow one to ring at performances from the opera to movies. However there is no mention of how the ban will be enforced and who will issue the violations. That will lead to selective enforcement which is just going to lead to its own set of problems and isn’t really going to stop dumb people.

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Comments on “NYC: Shut Off Your Cell Phone Or Else”

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J.D. says:


“…new bill it will be illegal to talk on the phone, listen to one and or allow one to ring at performances…”

Cool! I’m going to try to find some sort of a ringer I can stick in my pocket and then hit the button and look around as if it’s coming from the guy I’m sitting next to. (Yes, it’s juvenile, but then so is this “law”)

Steve says:

Typical, make new laws instead of enforcing existi

Not that this should be a law, but venues are free to kick out patrons who are disruptive in other ways, why don’t they just do the same when someone in the audience is disruptive with their phone. And I’d be willing to bet that seeing a few people escorted out of a performance would discourage others from risking the same embarassment. But it shouldn’t be illegal, for crying out loud–it should be a private issue between a venue and it’s customers. If you have a problem with people on their mobile phone at the theatre or whatever, complain to the manager. Ultimately, they will decide that it’s ruining the experience for enough of their paying customers that they’ll deal with it.

This seems just like some of the laws being written to make driving while on the phone illegal. There are currently laws on the books for inattentive driving. If a person is on the phone and is swerving or whatever, then give them a ticket for inattentive driving.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Typical, make new laws instead of enforcing ex

Venues are not excited about kicking patrons out, for several good reasons. For one, the process of kicking a selfish lout out of a theater is bound to be more disruptive to the performance than whatever he did to merit the boot to begin with. And also, as Mike is fond of pointing out, businesses that form adversarial relationships with their customers tend not to remain thriving businesses.

(That said, I agree that the NYC law is misguided. Enforcing it is going to engender all the same problems as the proposed “kick them out” solution, with the added drawback of imposing still more government intervention in the life of the average citizen.)

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