Hawaii August 04, 2017
This New Hawaii Law Will Make You Think Twice Before Stepping In The Street
If you’re annoyed with pedestrians in Honolulu constantly looking at their phones – even while crossing the street – you’ll be glad to hear about the latest city law intended to make everyone in Hawaii’s capital city much safer. You see, a new law was just passed that prohibits pedestrians from texting (or looking at their phones at all) while crossing the streets of Honolulu.
Honolulu just passed a brand new ordinance - the Distracted Walking Law - which makes it illegal for pedestrians to step into an intersection while looking at a screen.
Honolulu is the first major American city to put this law into effect, though the town of Fort Lee, New Jersey banned texting and walking five years ago.
Pedestrians will have three months to change their ways before the new law goes into effect on October 25 and police start enforcing the rule. The fee for breaking this law increases with the number of infractions: first time violators will be fined $15 to $35. If you are caught a second time in less than a year, the fine will be $35 to $75, and third-time offenders will be forced to pay up to $99.
The ban applies to all screens, including cell phones tablets, video games, and cameras, however Pedestrians will not be fined for listening to audio or for texting while walking on the sidewalk. There is also one exception to the rule: those making calls to 911.
"Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would prevail," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said at the bill-signing ceremony,
according to CNN. "But sometimes we lack common sense."
According to a University of Maryland study published in 2015, there have been more than 11,000 injuries as a result of phone distractions while walking from 2000 to 2011. We imagine the statistics are even higher in the last six years.
This new law is just the latest in a line of
sometimes odd illegal activities in the Aloha State.