(Reuters) – A ban on pedestrians looking at mobile phones or texting while crossing the street will take effect in Hawaii’s largest city in late October, as Honolulu becomes the first major U.S. city to pass legislation aimed at reducing injuries and deaths from “distracted walking.”
The ban comes as cities around the world grapple with how to protect phone-obsessed “smartphone zombies” from injuring themselves by stepping into traffic or running into stationary objects.
Starting Oct. 25, Honolulu pedestrians can be fined between $15 and $99, depending on the number of times police catch them looking at a phone or tablet device as they cross the street, Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters gathered near one of the city’s busiest downtown intersections on Thursday.
“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,” Caldwell said. Honolulu data on distracted-walking incidents was not immediately available.
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