Using Your Phone While Crossing The Street In Honolulu Could Cost You As Much As $99

Image courtesy of Renee Rendler-Kaplan

Looking at one’s phone while walking might not seem like too difficult of a task, but every once in a while it proves to be a painful endeavor, take the woman looking at her phone who tripped over a door in the sidewalk and fell into a utility room. The city of Honolulu wants to prevent these types of incidents by becoming the first major city in the U.S. to make it illegal to text while crossing the street.

The so-called Distracted Walking Law [PDF] will take effect Oct. 25 following the Honolulu city council’s 7-2 vote passing the measure.

Under the law, pedestrians are prohibited from using or looking at their phones, cameras, laptops, or video gaming devices while crossing the street.

The measure, which does include an exemption for those making emergency services phone calls, is intended to keep these pedestrians safe and free of injury by stepping into traffic.

In the three months before the law takes effect, the Honolulu Police Department will take part in training and a warning period for pedestrians.

After the law takes effect, violators can be fined $15 to $35 for their first offense, $35 to $75 for a second offense in the same year, or $75 to $99 for a third offense in the same year.

NPR notes that while Honolulu became the first major city to outlaw distracted walking, Fort Lee, NJ, also banned texting-while-walking in 2012.

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