Is texting and walking really a crime?

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When the city called for a ban on using electronic devices while driving, most people were on board.

Sure, it was a huge inconvenience for people like me, who like to dangerously multitask while commuting. But we had to respect the purpose of the new law: to keep us safe.

Now the city wants to ban crossing the street while holding — not just using — an electronic device. That includes cell phones, video games, iPods and even cameras.

Doesn’t that sound, well, a bit extreme?

What next, banning pedestrians from chewing gum, drinking a Diet Coke, twirling a baton?

Anyone else got a problem with this proposed bill?

18 comments
mokolai
mokolai

Yup, should be illegal to walk and chew gum at the same time because lots of people can't.

kamaka_hawaii
kamaka_hawaii

Ha, ha, ha, funny article! I agree with you it’s a law, even proposed, that’s extremely ridiculous!

Laws, laws, if they want to pass a law, pass a law that says no one can sue the city or county if they hurt doing any thing as pedistrian as walk down the sidewalk because of the own stupidity.

How about this law instead, looking at that girl in the photo, who is that girl, make it legal to sneak up behind her and with a big fat, thick, long rubber band shoot her in the okole!

That’ll change her behavior quick! She’ll never dbe the same again!

Just kidding…….sorry it this was too much.

Ron
Ron

If you read the bill, it would prohibit holding a digital camera or video camcorder while crossing the street or highway. I know the City is in need of additional revenue, but I'm not in favor of giving the city and community a black eye by raising traffic fines by ticketing uninformed visitors in Waikiki. There are better ways for the City Council to balance their budget than passing this type of legislation. And worse yet, we'd have to pay HPD officers to stand on street corners to pass out flyers "reminding" the visitors not to tweet and hold cameras while they cross the street -- before they issue citations. Like this picture really makes sense in a time of fiscal constraint.

dihudfan
dihudfan

does it matter if they pass the law or not? they probably enforce it... just like using cel phones while driving... talk about waste of time, effort, and money used for this legislation...

townieUHfan
townieUHfan

I don't know if people realize it, but the city gets sued daily for people tripping and cracking their head on the uneven streets and sidewalks around town. Gotta be that some of the texters that get hurt will sue blaming the pavement.

CodyZamboni
CodyZamboni

texting and walking on the street ? crime? nah

texting and yakking on your cell phone inside a movie theatre ? crime ? you, betcha !

punishable by $1000 fine and the judge takes away all your cell phone devices.

You get caught again. 1 year in prison.

M
M

Hello Cat,

There are way more important things they should be focusing on.

EdW
EdW

Again people (using the term very loosely) trying to legislate common sense. It's as bad as NY banning salt, transfats, junk food etc. I rember a you tube video taken in London of people walking into poles, call boxes etc as the texting craze began to take hold.

johngarcia
johngarcia moderator

Great comments! I think it's quite ridiculous as well... I do see some people walking without a care in the world, but that's when they risk getting hit by a car or falling into a fountain or hole in the ground. :)

UncleBullet
UncleBullet

That is so ridiculous that I'm not even going to bother commenting. Seriously? Who's going to enforce this? A deputized group of cell phone police? Our regular police force has better things to do.

tyfferz
tyfferz

This bill that was introduced reeks of totalitarianism. I could understand why they banned cell phone usage while driving but while crossing the street? Seriously? Do we need our government to tell us what to do and what NOT to do? If this bill that was "introduced" goes through...what next? The very things that was listed...ban the drinking of a diet coke, twirling a baton, or better yet...looking at a piece of paper because you're walking around aimlessly looking for a particular address?

I remember someone sharing something recently about a different issue but I'll paraphrase...this issue is a slippery slope. The banning of any product is a slippery slope for any reason...ANY reason.

What our legislators should actually be doing is focusing on balancing Hawaii's state budgets instead of pulling from the big bowl of papers of random issues that they throw in just to pass the day with...because that's what it seem's like they're doing especially with this so-called "introduction"

johnleblanc
johnleblanc

Let's not forget that this is supposed to be the "land of the FREE and the brave." How many men & women have given their lives to ensure our freedom?

How about educating the public about the dangers rather passing more laws dictating what we CAN'T do? Perhaps a PSA campaign with footage of splattered pedestrians? That might leave an impression! it would at least cause a stir and garner widespread attention.

I'm on board with the ban while driving because that protects the lives of others, but we should remain free to endanger ourselves.

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

ps. is Rod Tam whispering in Ann's ear or has she just finally gone completely crackers?

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

when an American citizen can't chew gum, twirl a baton and drink a Diet Coke in the middle of a crosswalk, then the terrorists have won

Cat
Cat

@EdW That's a good way of putting it!

Cat
Cat

@tyfferz I am surprised that this bill actually made it past the first reading... Maybe there's pressure to legislate it... Possible lawsuit threats?