The city of Honolulu has passed a new ban which prohibits a pedestrian’s use of a smartphone when crossing the street.
We all know someone who is a smartphone zombie – that is, someone who traverses terrain while transfixed on their mobile device. Honolulu has now become one of the first cities to pose a ban on smartphone use – taking aim at pedestrians who use their devices while crossing the road. Reuters has reported that Honolulu’s Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, has signed a bill that will take effect on October 25th, and will see pedestrians guilty of using their smartphone while crossing the street fined between $15 USD to $99 USD depending on the existence of prior charges. Read: Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will be made from recycled smartphones
Caldwell offered that the bill is designed to protect the livelihoods of pedestrians who can’t put their smartphone away, offering that “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.”
Some citizens in Honolulu, however, have felt that the new law is an invasion of personal freedom and have advocated instead for the education of ‘responsible electronics usage’.
Regardless of whatever is done, Honolulu is one of the first cities to address the impact of smartphone use on our personal safety. Earlier this year, it was reported that smartphone use while driving reversed a 40% year-on-year decline in the United States alone.
All we can say is thank goodness the law will take effect long after the arrival of the flash in the pan that was Pokemon Go. Read: Vertu, maker of ridiculously expensive smartphones, shuts down
What are your thoughts? How should governments and citizens promote the responsible use of an electronic device? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA