Etiquette Vigilante Polices LIRR

April 10, 2008 02:05 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Phone etiquette on public transportation is rarely regulated, and often ignored. One Long Island resident has taken enforcing manners into his own hands.

30-Second Summary

For those who commute on public transportation, listening to someone speak loudly on a cell phone can be annoying and, in some cases, infuriating. John Clifford, a Long Island resident, fights back by yelling at fellow passengers, and has even resorted to assaulting phone-users and dousing them with coffee.

One of his victims allegedly called him “crazy,” but he told Newsday “enough is enough.”

“People and the MTA seem to believe that people have to put up with rude behavior. We have as much right to stop the rude behavior as people have to be rude,” he said.

Despite the number of people who believe that talking on cell phones while riding buses and trains is rude, it happens all the time. The Greyhound bus company has banned cell phones, much to the delight of one rider.

The Washington, D.C., metro system may actually make it easier for people to talk on their phones while underground.

Some commuter rail services have taken a completely different tack by creating quiet cars in which cell phones and loud conversations are prohibited. Clifford has been pushing the Long Island Railroad to adopt quiet cars, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Another Long Island commuter has taken it upon himself to spotlight fellow commuters behaving badly by posting pictures and stories about them on his blog.

The next frontier in the cell phone etiquette battle is in the air. Callers can talk on their cell phones on flights within the European Union, and there has been discussion about it in the United States.

Headline Links: 'Man Who Yelled at Phone User Acquitted'

Opinion: Trying to keep quiet with cell phones

Related Topics: Commuters from hell, phones on planes and tunnels

Reference: Cell phone etiquette, other systems’ policies


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