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The guilty verdict by a jury in Florida of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin for attempted murder of neighbourhood watch leader George Zimmerman with a sidewalk has led to calls for stricter controls on use of pedestrian pathways in public and a total ban on walking on concrete paving slabs.

Among the pavement-control measures being suggested is the proposed Pedestrian Protection Act, which would limit use of pedestrian roadside areas in public places by civilians or private persons as well as banning the use of deadly weapons such as park benches and zebra crossings.

However, despite numerous studies which have shown large numbers of innocent pedestrians in the US every year are injured after tripping on hard concrete pavement slabs, critics of sidewalk control have argued for unrestricted public access to pavements, saying that the right by all US citizens to walk on the cracks between the paving stones is guaranteed by the 2nd amendment to the constitution.


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