US City Bans Texting while Walking
Parents usually teach their children how to cross the street safely, by looking both ways for cars. But do they also teach them to put away their cell phones?
The city of Honolulu, Hawaii wants everyone to learn that lesson.
Texting while crossing the street will soon be banned in the city. Beginning on October 24, you could be fined from $15 to $99 if you step into a Honolulu street while looking at your phone. Honolulu is the first major U.S. city to ban what is called "distracted walking." It recently passed a law in a seven to two vote. The law says: "No pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device." In other words, do not look at a screen when you cross the street or you could be fined.
The law’s creators hope it will lower the number of people hit and killed by cars in the city. Mayor Kirk Caldwell told Reuters news agency, "We hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the country."
The law includes all electronic devices with screens: cell phones, tablets, gaming devices, digital cameras and laptop computers. The law does permit an exception. Pedestrians may use such devices in the street to call emergency services and rescue workers, such as firefighters and police officers.