‘iPod zombies’ blamed for UK road deaths

Nick Spence
3 December, 2009
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iPod wearing cyclists lost in music are risking injury and even death according to road safety pressure groups.

Edmund King, the president of the Automobile Association, called for the Department for Transport to launch a campaign warning cyclists of the risk, reports the Daily Mail. “They [iPods] are meant to be mobile, but if you are cycling, you need all your senses about you,” the AA president said.

According to the tabloid, Internet cycling forums on the Internet are being bombarded by motorists complaining about the “breathtaking stupidity” of cyclists who weave through the traffic sporting iPods.

“iPod zombies are a menace,” quotes the Mail citing an apparent angry London driver. “I saw a bus clip one of them the other day in Victoria who was oblivious to anything around him.”

A campaign group Youth for Road Safety, has launched a new campaign, “Tune into Traffic” under the slogan “Your earphones could kill you.”

Manpreet Darroch, campaign director told the Mail: “It’s a serious problem which is only going to get worse as the number of cyclists increases—lots of people are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them.”

“People don’t realise how dangerous listening to music is on the roads—whether pedestrian or cyclist. It takes one of your key senses away. People shouldn’t do it.”

“You can legislate until you are blue in the face. On the issue of iPods we just need to raise awareness.”

The latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that 820 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the three months to June, a 19 percent rise on the same period in 2008.

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