'Phone zombies' can no longer cross streets in Hawaii

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY - AFP
HONOLULU
Published 26.10.2017 20:59

If you're in laid-back Honolulu, be advised that from Wednesday crossing the street with your nose in a smartphone can cost you up to $35.

The state capital of Hawaii is the first big U.S. city to crack down on "phone zombies" as a menace to public health. The new ordnance stipulates that "no pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device." Pedestrians are still allowed to talk on their phones while crossing the streets, as long as they look at their surroundings.

Fines start at $15 to $35 for a first offense, but can climb to as high as $100 for a third offense within a year.

Last year, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed by cars in the United States, the most in two decades.

The toll was up about 11 percent from 2015, and 22 percent higher than in 2014, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The GHSA blamed the alarming rise in part on "distraction due to growing use of smartphone technology."

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