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Distracted Walking Law in Effect

Dimitri Lilly, Op-Ed Editor

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On October 25, a new law went into effect for pedestrians in Honolulu. The law makes it so pedestrians are no longer allowed to look at the screen of any electronic device while on a crosswalk. The law includes video games, pagers, laptops, and smartphones. Pedestrians will still be allowed to talk on their phones while in a crosswalk and look at their phones while on the sidewalk. Violators will face various fines depending on their number of offenses. The first offence incurs a fine of $15 to 35$, the fine for a second offence is $35 to $75, and for the third offense $75 to $99. The passing of this law makes Honolulu the first major city to pass a law affecting pedestrians when using handheld electronics. The law was put in place to increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians and reduce the risk of accidents.

Do you think the Distracted Walking Law is necessary?

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This law affects almost everyone in Honolulu. That is because we live in an electronic based world. Nearly everyone has a cell phone or some other form of electronic and uses it everyday. This is especially true for teenagers who are usually on their phone for most of the day. They may think this law is unnecessary but it is put in place to increase people’s safety when on the road. Personally I see people walking in crosswalks while looking at their phone all the time, and most times they are so focused on their phones they aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. On more than one occasion someone has almost been hit by a car because they weren’t paying attention. This law should help to prevent things like that from happening and reduce the amount of accidents we have here in Honolulu. Accidents are not always the fault of the driver and many can be prevented if pedestrians pay attention to what is happening around them while being in a crosswalk.

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