Honolulu makes looking at electronic devices in crosswalks illegal

HONOLULU, HI (KHNL) Beginning in October, looking at mobile devices while crossing the street in Honolulu will be illegal.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has signed into law a bill that bans pedestrians from using cell phones and other electronic devices while crossing the street.

“Sometimes I wish there were laws that we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would prevail. But sometimes we lack common sense,” Caldwell said before signing the bill.

Some have called the bill “intrusive” and “another attempt at local government overreach,” while supporters feel it is needed to keep pedestrians safe and distraction free.

“We’re not out there to look for how many citations we can get,” said Capt. Thomas Taflinger of the Honolulu Police Department’s traffic division. “We’re just out there to make sure everybody’s safe.”

The first violation can earn a pedestrian a fine between $15 to $35. Additional violations then raise to $75 to $99. That’s lower than the $130 fine for jaywalking.

Councilman Brandon Elefant said one of the reasons the fines are low is because the law is meant as a reminder to be aware when crossing the street.

“I believe in the first implementation of it, as the bill comes into effect in October that there will be an education, warning, awareness, before citations are issued,” he said.

However, he adds that some people may need more than just a warning.

“Sometimes it may take a citation for someone to really change their behavior.”

Do you think Columbus should adopt a similar law? Vote now on our Twitter poll.

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