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This U.S. City Is Now Issuing $35 Tickets for Walking While Texting

October 25, 2017, 12:12 PM UTC

If you’re in Honolulu, Hawaii and, like many people, you have a habit of crossing the street while staring at your smartphone, you might be in trouble.

As of Wednesday, October 25, the practice is illegal. This is the day on which a bill passed back in July goes into effect, revising Honolulu’s local ordinances to dictate that “no pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device.”

The new line about crossing the road replaces a sentence in the law that read: “No person shall operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device.”

So, how much can you expect to pay if you infringe the new rule? Up to $35 for the first offense, $75 for the second and $99 for the third.

The aim of the move is to stop “smartphone zombies” from hurting themselves and others. However, the rule does not apply to people who are making emergency calls while crossing the road.

Similar rules have been proposed elsewhere, though not successfully. For example, when Toronto’s city council last year tried to ban texting and walking while crossing the street, the province of Ontario pushed back.

As some noted at the time, responsibility for accidents in such situations should perhaps lie with the drivers—who should be paying attention to the road in front of them—and not with pedestrians.