You might want to remember this if you’re planning on visiting Hawaii soon. A new law has been passed which makes it illegal for people to text while they’re crossing a street in Honolulu. The law allows the police to fine pedestrians up to $35 for this. Honolulu has been debating this move for quite some time now and the law has now been passed, meaning there’s no avoiding the fine if you’re caught doing this.
The New York Times reports that Honolulu is likely the first major city to ban texting while crossing the street. City officials are happy with the work they’ve done.
“This is really milestone legislation that sets the bar high for safety,” said City Council member Brandon Elefante in an interview with the scribe.
The officials wanted to pass this law as pedestrian deaths surged almost 10 percent last year to nearly 6,000. That was the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the city since 1990. Not all of them were linked to smartphone use, but it was believed to be a major reason as it’s a source of mental and visual distraction for both walkers and drivers.
The law states that first-time offenders will be fined $15-35 and if they keep at it, they can be fined up to $99 for texting while crossing the street.
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