The City Council of Honolulu has passed a bill that imposes a ban on texting while crossing the street and makes it illegal for pedestrians to look at electronic devices like cellphones as they walk on the roads and cross the streets. The intention is to curb the practice because that can lead to life threatening accidents.

In case of violation, the individual would have to pay fines ranging from $15 to $99. The first offence would attract a fine of $15 to $35, the next time it would increase to $35 to $75 and if repeated for a third time, the amount would be between $75 to $99.

Reaction to the ban

Daily Mail UK reports that the City Council of Honolulu has passed the bill 7-2, but one Council member has opposed it. He feels that focus should be given to more important issues pertaining to the homeless and huge deficit in the rail project that Honolulu faces. In his opinion, an issue like texting while walking should be left to social media which would have had a better effect.

The bill defines electronic devices that are in the purview of the ban and are normal everyday devices like cellphones, paging devices, video games etcetera but does not include audio equipment. There are exceptions for those who are making a 911 call or for emergency responders who are on the job.

The bill has been drawn up in consultation with the Honolulu Police Department to ensure that it is enforceable and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will take the final decision on its implementation.

Such a ban is a matter of safety

The mobile phone is a modern day gadget that has brought people closer and one can share his thoughts with others instantly but, it has its disadvantages also.

One of these is using it for texting while walking on the road. When a person is engaged in such an activity, his attention is focused on the screen, his mind is occupied with his thoughts and his fingers are busy on the keypad. He is oblivious to his surroundings and fails to notice the traffic around him which can lead to accidents and, even, death.

Hence, the efforts of Honolulu to take such an initiative is commendable. With the improvement of technology during the past decade, devices like the cellphone have become an indispensable and inseparable part of our lives. We use it while driving and even while walking and these are unsafe actions. Those who indulge in such activities must realize that it can be dangerous to not just him but to others who are nearby. The social media can certainly play a major role by creating awareness but, a firm action like imposing fines could be more effective.