You've had the experience of walking along and negotiating around someone who is walking slowly, weaving, or bumping into other pedestrians for an obvious reason: He or she is talking on a cell phone, listening to an iPod, or texting on a Blackberry.
And you've had the natural, inevitable response to this annoyance: demanding a law to prevent it.
Oh, you haven't responded that way?
No I bloody haven't. I do get mad. I wonder why some people are so bloody oblivious; why it is too difficult to tuck themselves away in a non-traffic space for the duration of their call; why they lack the ability to co-exist courteously and intelligently with the surrounding people and environment. The same thoughts flash through my mind when I see people who have stopped their vehicles in the middle of the road to chat to a friend; or stand two shopping trolleys abreast in the supermarket aisle yacking; or travel at 40 km in a 70 km zone.
I do not demand a law to prevent it.(Oh, confession, I have been known to suggest that if people have to keep down to a speed limit they should need to keep up to it also, but if push came to shove I wouldn't actually support such a law. Some people are such awful drivers they probably cannot handle faster speeds. But that's a whole new topic...)
Obliviousness. Or oblivion. Whatever. One of my pet hates. Probably the best way to wake people up is to deal with it on the spot. Give them a rude and abrupt shock of some sort. Preferably with your mouth, not vehicle. That would have more impact and effect than a remote, faceless, unenforced law.
The trouble is those of us who do try not to inconvenience others, who are consciously trying to live co-operatively with others, who are prepared to make compromises like walking a few more metres in the rain because double parking outside a school is dangerous, are also not the type of people who enjoy being unpleasant and confrontational. That's THEM.
So its rock and a hard place time. I don't have the answer. Except that parents should do a better job of teaching and showing their kids that being even semi-conscious of their planet earth co-inhabitants would be a good idea. For everyone.