Honolulu crosswalk texting ban

Whether it's crashing into walls, falling down the stairs or stepping into traffic, these things are happening more and more thanks to one overwhelming reason - cell phones. Forgetting there is life outside of a screen, many people are not looking at their surroundings, resulting in more texting-related injuries than ever before.

To avoid such injuries, the city of Honolulu, Hawaii, has approved a law which makes it illegal for pedestrians to "cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device." The law applies to all screens - video games, cameras, tablets, and laptops - yes, it does happen. The only exception to the rule is making a 911 call.

The first major city in America to bring in this rule, Mayor Kirk Caldwell talked of Honolulu’s “unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks than almost any other city in the country” when signing the bill. The only other American city to do something similar is the town of Fort Lee, New Jersey, which banned texting and walking five years ago. Honolulu's law does not apply to sidewalks - although perhaps it should.

To give Honolulu residents the chance to change their ways, the rule will be enforced on October 25 of this year, with first-time violators being charged between $15-35, second-time violators between $35-75, and third-time violators up to $99. On his social media page, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said it seems obvious not to cross roads while texting  - but people still need to be told. "It's about protecting people and reminding people to use common sense as they walk around this beautiful city so that they don't become another statistic or fatality or an injury," he said.