Honolulu bans texting while crossing the road to prevent injuries

Honolulu has banned texting while crossing the road to prevent injuries. Picture: Micha Theiner/Getty Images
Honolulu has banned texting while crossing the road to prevent injuries. Picture: Micha Theiner/Getty Images
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An American state capital has taken the unparalleled action of banning pedestrians from looking at mobile phones and texting while crossing the road.

Honolulu have introduced the Distracted Walking Law in a bid to reduce injuries and deaths from “distracted walking”.

The measure will come into place on 25 October after the bill was signed off by the city’s mayor Kirk Caldwell after the city council approved the measure by a vote of 7-2. The legislation states “no pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device”.

“We hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county,” he told Reuters news agency.

“Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would prevail, but sometimes we lack common sense,” Mr Caldwell said.

Offenders caught breaking the law will be hit with a fine. First offenders caught using digital devices, including laptops and cameras, will have to pay between $15-35 (£11-26), while repeat offenders face a penalty up to $99 (£76).

Calls to emergency services are excluded from the ban.

Statistics from the US National Safety Council show that between 2000 and 2011 incidents which the ban hopes to protect amounted to more than 11,100 injuries in America.