World News

City Tries Out a ‘Distracted Walking’ Ordinance to Cut Down on Texting and Walking

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Tony Maples Photography


Earlier this week, we read about New York police considering devices called “textalyzers” to help determine whether or not someone was distracted by their phone while driving, and now, a U.S. city is planning on fining citizens for distracted walking. WFAA 8 writes that in Honolulu, Hawaii, you better start watching where you’re walking instead of looking at your phone or tablet.

“The ‘Distracted Walking’ ordinance sets fines of $15 to $35 for first offenses, $35 to $75 for second offenses within the same year, and $75 to $99 for third offenses within the same year,” the news explains. It only applies when crossing the street, and it’s OK to be on the phone if it’s an emergency situation.

The National Safety Council says that “52% of cell phone distracted walking injuries happen at home.” And interestingly, “the number of pedestrian deaths has decreased significantly since the 1970s; during that decade, deaths were between 8,400 and 10,300” while the number was 6,100 in 2013. But, texting while walking has caused many injuries due to falling, and the problem is faced by people of all ages.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, “Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would prevail… But sometimes we lack common sense.”