Walking while staring at your cell phone is a hazard. More so, texting while crossing the street greatly heightens the danger for you and any oncoming motorist, which is why Honolulu, Hawaii is trying to outlaw the ill-advised practice altogether.
A bill passed by Honolulu's City Council on Wednesday bans anyone from texting while they're crossing the street. It's awaiting the approval of Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who has 10 business days to finalize it with his signature. As Gizmodo notes, various cities in New Jersey, New York, Arkansas, Illinois, and Nevada have tried implementing the very same ban, but have so far fallen short of the goal. Washington state was the first to outlaw texting while driving, and since then a total of 47 states, including D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have followed suit, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
The bill was introduced by councilman Brandon Elefante, who reportedly drafted the measure alongside Mayor Caldwell. If the law carries Caldwell's signature, it will exempt people from penalties only if they're calling 911, reports CNN. Montreal's city council attempted to push through an identical measure earlier this year. Similarly, a "distracted walking law" introduced in New Jersey last year attempted to institute even stricter proposals, suggesting a $50 ticket for anyone caught texting while walking.
Honolulu's ban, which is expected to be approved, will levy a fine between $15 and $99 dollars, depending upon how many times an offender has broken the law. Needless to say, get ready to turn off your apps the next time you're in the Hawaiian capital.