Major US city bans smartphone use by pedestrians while crossing the street


Using the smartphone while driving is already banned in many countries across the globe, but there aren't many places where pedestrians can't use their handsets while walking. It appears that Honolulu, the largest city in Hawaii, will be among the first to impose a ban on the use of phones at crossroads.

Honolulu's Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a bill that is meant to prevent “smartphone zombies” from injuring themselves while trying to cross the street, Reuters reports.

The new legislation was passed recently and will take effect starting October 25. Pedestrians found guilty of using their smartphones while crossing the street after that date will be fined between $15 and $99, depending on how many times they've been caught by the police breaking the law.

According to Caldwell, the new legislation is supposed to protect pedestrians too addicted to their smartphones from being hit by cars while crossing the street.


Obviously, there are people who argue that the new law issued recently in Honolulu would infringe on personal freedom and is too intrusive. They recommend instead that the citizens be educated about “responsible electronics usage.”

source: Reuters

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14 Comments

1. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Crazy... now we have to protect smartphone users from themselves. Fence rules make me sad.

2. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

$99 only? Think it should go up to $500 for those who lack such basic common sense and refuse to learn until they become a victim.

8. izim1

Posts: 1607; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

It shouldn't be anything. Let nature run its course. Idiots are the biggest argument against universal healthcare systems. No one wants to be held responsible for stupid people doing stupid things. And rightfully so.

10. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Do you drive and pay insurance? Imagine how much your insurance would increase hitting someone on their phone, or rear ending the person in front of you after they slammed on brakes to avoid hitting one. After they come into court with a neck brace, and sue the crap out of your insurance, youd be lucky to afford insurance after that. At least with this you'd have some sort of protection, in the very least to discourage it.

3. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Unfortunately you can't ban stupid. Sad truth.

4. PSAfromThisGuy

Posts: 146; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

not going to lie, I'm one of these people... lol. was too busy texting on my phone and almost got hit by a car because I was crossing a street where there wasn't a street light and usually no traffic, but there happened to be a car turning onto that street.. Of course that was 5 years ago when most kids didn't have phones let alone smartphones... but this day in age, more kids have these devices and simply don't pay attention to anything but what's on their screen. If the law can enforce it, I'm all for this ban.

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Kids? Its an adult issue even more so!

5. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

You can't legislate against stupidity. If you get hit by a car because you're eating s**t and not paying attention, tough.

7. aegislash

Posts: 1531; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

I get that a law like this might seem stupid, because a person crossing a busy street with their head buried in their phone is obviously natural selection at work.....especially if they cross at an area where there's no crosswalks, and continue doing whatever on their phone. But...ya also gotta consider the life of the person who chooses to swerve and smashes into a light post/other car/etc, injuring or killing themselves and possibly others, all to avoid hitting the dingbat who is choosing to cross the street while texting rather than paying attention to their surroundings.

9. Tziggy14

Posts: 626; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Just $99? I know for a face here in NYC they will make people get fined 3 times that money for that same law break.

11. AxelFoley unregistered

Really, in NYC, where the "walk/don't walk" signs are more of a recommendation than a rule that anyone follows? If there are fines for illegally crossing the street then no one there is really concerned about it. Either way, as much as people want to ridicule them, this is another benefit of a smartwatch....or just stopping to look at messages or take a call.

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Reminds me of that scene with Dustin Hoffman in Midnight cowboy, I'm walking here!. Should be updated to I'm texting here

12. jonathanfiuwx

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

the mistake in this article is the word "major US city"

14. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

re: 12. jonathanfiuwx (Posts: 15; Member since: 10 Mar 2017) the mistake in this article is the word "major US city" =================================== you dont feel honolulu is a major us city? according to wiki 2016, honolulu is the 55th most populated city out of 300+ us cities...may not have the numbers like new york or los angeles, but ahead of cities like anaheim california, pittsburgh, st louis missouri, cincinatti, orlando florida, bufalo new york, lubbock texas, reno nevada, spokane washington, st paul minnesota, etc...and is within reach of cleveland, tampa and new orleans,

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