Following Washington’s heavily debated new distracted driving law, Honolulu has now passed a distracted walking law that bans citizens from using cellphones, playing video games and using other electronic devices while crossing the street. As the new motto has it, Hawaii is now all for “don’t walk and cross”.
Under the new law, fines are set at $15 to $35 for the first offence, $35 to $75 for the second offence, and $75 to $99 for the third offence in the same year. Covering a range of electronics that include tablets, laptops, personal assistants like Amazon Echo and digital cameras. Interestingly, audio devices such as MP3 players are not included in the list of banned items.
Mayor Kirk Cadwell signed the bill after the motion was introduced by Councilman Brandon Elefante with a view to emphasise the responsibility pedestrians have towards their own safety when on the road. While discussions are rife about whether the ordinance is intrusive or protective, the implementation procedure is underway and the law officially goes into effect on October 25.