Phone talk-walk ban
As we all know, using a mobile while driving is four times more likely to cause us to crash and even more startling, is that drivers who text and drive are a staggering twenty-three times more likely to have a crash.
The evidence then is clear; texting while driving is very dangerous but what about texting while walking?
While countries around the world are struggling to ban texting at the wheel, authorities in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu has become the first major US city to ban pedestrians from using their phones while crossing the road.
At the moment in Honolulu, there is a ban to prevent distracted driving but now distracted pedestrians could also face fines. A bill introduced at the city council on Wednesday would make it illegal to hold a mobile phone or other mobile electronic devices when crossing a street or highway.
Emergency responders would be exempt from the ban. Bill 43 extends the city's ordinance affecting drivers and mobile electronic devices. introduced at the city council on Wednesday would make it illegal to hold a cell phone or other mobile electronic device when crossing a street or highway.
The new legislation will make it illegal to hold a mobile phone or any other mobile electronic device while crossing a street or highway. City council member Ann Kobayashi introduced the measure to curb distracted pedestrians and bicyclists.
City council member Ann Kobayashi introduced the measure to curb distracted pedestrians and bicyclists.
"By the definitions that are in the ordinance itself, that would mean that if you're holding the device and crossing the street, whether it be a laptop computer a Kindle, an iPad or cellular phone, you would be in violation of this law," said Maj. Kurt Kendro of the Honolulu Police Department.
Five pedestrians have been killed on Oahu's roadways this year and Police officers issued 2,371 mobile electronic device citations in 2010 but so far this year, they have given out 2,679 citations.
"We think it's a little bit overbroad and not needed. There are sections in existing law about pedestrians' rights and duties when crossing the street," Kendro said.
A couple of residents also testified at the city council meeting.
"I'm in support of Bill 43 just because as a new driver I guess that it makes me feel safer knowing that the pedestrians won't be like texting while crossing the street," said Ewa Beach resident Kristi Fuchikami.
"Are we going to be allowed to read books and magazines later on? Are you going to take that away from us, too? Why do you try to control our lives like this?" said Makiki resident Bob Keating.
Critics are raising questions about enforcement and any potential cost.
"Everyone is yelling and screaming about the budget and you guys are talking about crossing a crosswalk with a cell phone in your hand. I mean, come on. Where's the common sense around here? This is ridiculous," said Keating.
How this particular ban could possibly be policed is anyone's guess but it will become an offence to text or talk on the phone while crossing the road.
Honolulu is bringing in the ban in October. They say it is to reduce injuries and deaths from "distracted walking".
Fines for the new offence will range from €13 or so and repeat offenders could face fines of up to €90.
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