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A fine for crossing the road and checking your phone? Honolulu is planning one

Honolulu is planning to fine pedestrians who look at their phones while crossing the road

15 July 2017, 10:43am
Honolulu wants to crack down on “distracted walking” and so, by October, it will introduce a law by which pedestrians will be fined if they are caught checking their mobile phone whilst crossing the road.

The fines go up to some €90 ($99) and first-time offenders will be hit with a €13 ($15) fine.

The measure will apply to the island of Oahu, home to 80% of the state’s population.

Most states in the USA ban texting while driving. Honolulu - which has a population of around a million - will be the first to penalise pedestrians who cross the road while staring at their smartphones.

Pedestrians will still be allowed to make and receive calls, because it is assumed that they are looking where they are going at the same time.

As far back as 2013, a study appeared in the Journal of Safety Research called "Ambulatory cellphone injuries in the United States: An emerging national concern”.

It noted a rising number of distracted pedestrians being injured - with 1,500 being taken to Accident and Emergency in 2012.

The threat was highlighted at a conference held by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year.