back to article Fines for crossing roads while TXTing enacted in Honolulu

The city of Honolulu has put into practice a law that fines people who “cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device.” “Viewing” is defined as “looking in the direction of the screen of a mobile electronic device.” The Hawaiian capital passed the law in late July and gave 90 days notice of its …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    What if you're crossing the road, looking where you're going but someone in front of you is actually holding their gadget with its screen facing you?

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    @syntax

    Sounds like an opportunity for selling services to those who must live as a mobile phone zombie.

    Same logic can be applied for Mr and Mrs. - e.g. can you hold my phone for me please.

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    What about a Segway with digital display showing speed and GPS route for the user?

    In addition, what about vehicle operators who have a GPS (or cellphone acting as GPS) mounted on their windscreen/dash)?

    1. Phil 54

      It only applies to pedestrians crossing a road.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Anyone maurauding down the pavements on a segway while not even looking where they're going ought to be locked up!

  4. jake Silver badge

    Personally ...

    ... I say let 'em step into traffic whilst distracted. Stupidity should hurt.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Personally ...

      I disagree. Pedestrians are road users too and, outside of the US and few other car cultures, have just as much right to carry along the highway without having to give way to vehicles turning.

      Besides which having motor vehicle drivers looking out for pedestrians on phones can only make the roads safer for everyone.

    2. handleoclast
      Coat

      Re: Personally ...

      You're right.

      They should draft new legislation that exempts motorists from any legal charges if they accidentally, or otherwise, mow down some twat crossing the road while looking at a mobile.

      I'm probably joking. Maybe. Because the longer I think about it, the more sense it makes.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Does an early generation iPod not provide amusement?

    Musical taste aside.

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Flame

    If people crossing a road engrossed in their mobile device cause an accident they should pay all the costs. If that doesn't teach them, give immunity to any car driver that knocks one over. Darwinism should soon alter the gene pool.

  7. Haku
    FAIL

    Aren't they basically outlawing natural selection / survival of the fittest?

    I wonder what Darwin would say about that.

  8. Def Silver badge
    Coat

    ...from Japan, which drives on the wrong statistically safer and correct side of the road...

    FTFY ;)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fines for crossing roads while TXTing enacted in Honolulu...

    In other news: Honolulu jails full to bursting with 'confused young women'.

  10. JakeMS

    Need in UK

    We need this in the UK! I've had idiots walk out into the road while wearing headphones and heads down on phone without even looking for coming cars!

    Also can we get some laws for cyclists next? Lights in the dark please! Oh, and obay road laws such as red lights and one way roads. Then of course they ride on public walkways at high speed, I've been hit by several cyclists while on a public walkway while walking out of shops or turning corners, it's usually followed by them cursing at you and riding off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Need in UK

      Yaaawnn.....

      We have laws for cyclists, as well as laws for motorists who flaunt them way more frequently than cyclists, but the consequences of motorists flaunting them are far greater. Unfortunately death by being hit by a car that's mounted the pavement, or driven dangerously is so common that it's been normalised. The consequence being that when one incident happens such as the idiot hipster a few weeks back the Daily Fail makes out it's a shock headline causing the public to be "outraged".

      Happy to provide examples if you don't believe me?

      Personally I'd ban anyone using a mobile phone whilst moving. I'm certain people don't comprehend how slowly they move and how fucking irritating it is following someone through an office, particularly up or down stairs whilst using a phone for any purpose.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Need in UK

        Ban phone use while moving? But teenagers, millennials and hipsters would never leave their homes! Wait ... you might be on to something.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Need in UK

        The difference being when car drivers do bad stuff they get fined or put in jail, cyclists do not. Have you ever heard of a cyclist getting a fine for running a red light or hitting someone on a walkway?

        1. n0r0imusha

          Re: Need in UK

          can i please bring this to your attention :

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41028321

          ( i know it resulted in a death but it hopefully started a change in the attitude )

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Need in UK

          "Have you ever heard of a cyclist getting a fine for running a red light or hitting someone on a walkway"

          You don't keep up with UK stories do you?

          https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/18/cyclist-charlie-alliston-jailed-for-18-months-over-death-of-pedestrian

          https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-cyclist-fined-for-speeding-in-richmond-park-after-he-is-clocked-at-38mph-a3102191.html

        3. Empire of the Pussycat

          Re: Need in UK

          yes, regularly, aside from the above examples the police regularly do it to red light jumping twats at regent's park

          increasing numbers of drivers run red lights, make illegal turns, drive the wrong way along one-way streets - big ones, like tottenham court road

          that doesn't make all drivers bad, only a bigot would accuse 'drivers' as a class

          the fact that some cyclist flout traffic laws doesn't make all cyclists bad, only a bigot would accuse 'cyclists' as a class

          the issue is that we seem to have increasing numbers of selfish and/or inattentive twunts loose in public

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Need in UK

            "yes, regularly, aside from the above examples the police regularly do it to red light jumping twats at regent's park"

            Good. What I'd like round here would be prosecutions for causing obstruction.

            However things might be improving; I actually saw one yesterday keeping to the cycle lane.

        4. Master Luke

          Re: Need in UK

          Have you ever heard of a pedestrian being fined for stepping out in front of a cyclist, while they have their nose glued firmly to their phone? Or not stopping at a pedestrian crossing to check that traffic has actually been able to stop for them before striding out on to it?

          The rules of the road apply to everyone, pedestrians and cyclists included. In fact there is a whole section in The Highway Code entitled Rules For Pedestrians. I wonder how many have ever read it?

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Need in UK

        "Unfortunately death by being hit by a car that's mounted the pavement, or driven dangerously is so common that it's been normalised."

        At one point I think I worked this out, and cars and bicycles have a similar pedestrian KSI (killed or seriously injured) per km driven/ridden statistic. It's just that there are lots more cars going much further, so they kill and maim more people.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Need in UK

          At one point I think I worked this out, and cars and bicycles have a similar pedestrian KSI (killed or seriously injured) per km driven/ridden statistic. It's just that there are lots more cars going much further, so they kill and maim more people.

          Did you remember to deduct motorway driving from the car mileage before calculating the rate for cars since there are no pedestrians present so it skews the result?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Need in UK

        Anonymous Coward: (and there are so many!) ...As long as we're veering off topic, I feel compelled to suggest that the word you are seeking is "flout," and not "flaunt"... as in "laws for the motorists who flout them." (When my late father made a similar observation, it was suggested that he "get a life." So, I expect a more original retort than he received).

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Need in UK

        "motorists who flaunt them"

        Downvoted. You used the term more than once so it's not a simple typo.

        Other common errors:

        Stationery/Stationary

        Principle/Principal

        Have/Of

    2. unwarranted triumphalism

      Re: Need in UK

      Thanks for going completely off topic. Twat.

      1. Bernard M. Orwell
        Trollface

        Re: Need in UK

        "Thanks for going completely off topic. Twat."

        But I want to know what Trump is doing about this? Is it linked to cycle laws in Russia? Is Assange involved somehow? I bet Hillary is behind it all!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Need in UK

        Thanks for going completely off topic. Twat.

        Are you a cyclist by any chance?

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Need in UK

      "Oh, and obay road laws such as red lights and one way roads."

      Why are motorists so hung up on cyclists and red lights? and especially one way roads?

      Its the cyclists right to take on pedestrian rules and go on pavement , through reds while the cars are stopped or to walk (cycle) up a one way street. They get these priviledges because they are not wearing 2 tonnes of metal spread over 8 square metres.

      Motorists are just Jealous. I say this as a car driver who barely ever cycles.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Need in UK

        No it isn't. Bicycles are legally road vehicles and should be used as such. That means obeying traffic rules and signs.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Need in UK

        "take on pedestrian rules"

        Fine, providing they get off and push the cycle.

      3. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Need in UK

        "Its the cyclists right to take on pedestrian rules and go on pavement"

        Citation please?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Need in UK

          Let's just ban cycling.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People texting while doing ... anything

    I see people texting while doing anything all of the time !

    Driving, sure, also biking, walking in the street. It did even happen to me, going down on a light slope of a cross-country ski track, to shout at a lady going the opposite direction while skating (which takes a lot of space) while texting !

    And don't even start me on modern electrically assisted bikes ! Some pedestrians lanes are shared with biking lanes in Switzerland, and you could often see bikes going at 45 KM/h on the same lane as pedestrians. People will die and legislation will need to occur. Everywhere.

  12. Christoph Silver badge

    Just recently I took a photo of a rather nice streetscape by carefully checking there was no oncoming traffic on a very minor street, and then standing in the middle of it to get the right angle for the photo. Presumably that would be covered by this law as I was looking at the camera's screen to frame the photo?

    1. MrXavia

      I would argue no, as you would not be crossing the road, you would be standing in the middle of the road not crossing ;-)

    2. Swarthy Silver badge

      If it was a digital camera, than yes. If it were film, than you'd be in the clear; the key being "digital photographic device".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like we all need to go back to crossing roads while reading guidebooks and maps like we always used to do!

  14. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Stop

    iPods? Hawaii?

    It would be interesting to know how many people have been run down by a big yellow taxi whilst listening to "Big yellow taxi".

  15. Scott 26
    Boffin

    ObXKCD

    https://xkcd.com/1710/

    (check the alt text)

  16. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Unhappy

    In a sydney street not so long ago. So engrossed in reading a facebook page some dimwitted muppet heard the walk sound coming from the pedestrian box, but for the other side. He started to walk out into traffic. I yanked them back onto the kerb in time before they became grill art for the semi barrelling down the road.

    My reward: swearing and cursing that I had torn his shirt slightly.

    Darwin I am more sorry than you can imagine please forgive me.

    1. handleoclast

      Only in Australia?

      In the UK, regulations forbid audible crossing alerts in that situation. I.e., two independent crossings in proximity. However, I think they're experimenting with a new audible alerts that people can more precisely determine the location (memory is vague on this one). In the UK, where audible alerts are prohibited then rotating cones must be fitted (they're at the discretion of the local authority otherwise).

      I've just given people a few things to google for to keep them amused. :)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Bother?

    We also have laws that prohibit using mobes while driving. I don't see that they have had any effect and I've never heard of anyone getting a ticket.

    There needs to be enforcement of some sort to make this laws effective: how about anyone crossing the street with a mobe to their head is fair game for any driver. And just to make things equitable: any driver using a mobe is fair game for any other driver/pedestrian. After all, we've got all these guns over here and damn few opportunities to use them.

  18. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    "We also have laws that prohibit using mobes while driving"

    You know whats weird about that law:

    After all the stats about "x amount killed" or "concentration shown to be a fraction of normal" and " worse than drinking" etc etc

    Turn out you can completely sidestep the law and drive around to your hearts content gossiping with your BFFs about your new shoes , or last nights footy, just as long as.....

    --- You are hands free ---

    Then suddenly its all fine . Apparently shouting into a speaker phone and straining to hear crackly output from the speaker will supercharge your brain enough that it can do both driving and conversing on the phone with no apparent danger.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Jeltz

      I agree. My car allows me to accept, but not place calls when I'm driving. I don't accept calls because I find even hands free my concentration and perception suffer. You can tell when someone takes a call on the highway, because their speed drops and the car starts wandering in their lane - or outside of their lane.

  19. SuperMario3

    It's a shame when laws need to be created to replace what should be common sense.

    Was it Holland (don't quote me) which has installed lights for crossing on the ground so they are in the eyeline of people on their phones?

    That being said I'm sure this law will actually make a difference.

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