You see it happening all the time. It’s almost become a norm to see people walking with the eyes glued to their phone. We’re all guilty of it from time to time, but the next time it could cost you. For the safety of people, one major city has decided to take matters into their own hands. Honolulu has passed a law that now makes it illegal to use your phone while crossing the street. Under this law, police are able to fine pedestrians up to $35 for viewing their mobile devices while crossing streets in the city. While $35 might not sound like a lot, it’s definitely enough to ruin your day and make you think twice. The law took into effect today and makes Honolulu the first major city to enact such a ban.
Pedestrian deaths have risen in the United States alone and spike at least nine percent in 2016 from the previous year in 2015. This made the total number rise to 5,987, which is the highest toll on American roads since 1990. Many reports turn to the use of smartphones as an increase for the deaths.
David Canepa of the Board of Supervisors in San Mateo, California spoke about Honolulu’s recent ban,“But at the end of the day, people understand the value of public safety. This legislation is practical and is common sense. It will save lives.” The same measure is up for statewide consideration next year and expected to go to the California Legislature.
At least ten other states are considering the same ban as the rise of distracted pedestrians and bicyclists continue. One state in particular, New York.