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It's now illegal to look at your phone while crossing a crosswalk in Honolulu


It is now illegal for pedestrians to be looking at their cell phones while using a crosswalk in Honolulu, Hawaii, CNN reported.

The law goes into effect October 25 and also includes laptops, video games and digital cameras.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell explained during a bill-signing ceremony at a busy intersection in the city that the "distracted pedestrian" law was needed because so many people are hit by vehicles in crosswalks.

"Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would prevail. But sometimes we lack common sense," Caldwell said during his speech.

For first offenders the fine will be between $15 and $35, $35 to $75 for the second offense and can go up to $99 for the third. Police will have to actually see the person looking at their phone in order to charge somebody.

The law was suggested by high school safety clubs who did studies on pedestrian safety, local high school teacher Kel Hirohata told CNN.

"What if the person that is driving... is looking at their phone and the pedestrian crossing the street is also doing the same thing? Anything can happen," Hirohata said.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased 11 percent from the first half of 2015 to the same period in 2016, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, and "distraction due to growing use of smartphone technology" was listed as a possible reason.


Check out these related Circa stories:

Footage shows a distracted woman on her cellphone fall into an open sidewalk cellar
How you should be holding your smartphone, according to an orthopedic surgeon
A teen was electrocuted after using her cell phone during a bath

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