>> If you step into traffic while texting, it could cost you your life. But in Honolulu, it could cost you 99 bucks. Bans on texting while driving are common, but the Hawaiian capital is the first major US city to extend the ban to pedestrians. The ordinance passed in July, and comes as cities around the world grapple with how to protect phone obsessed citizens from injuring themselves.
>> And we do have a lot of pedestrians get hit by cars on this island and nationwide. It is a problem, distracted driving is a huge problem. So this is just a kind of a beginning step.>> Pedestrians who text or even glance at their screen can be fined for distracted walking.
First time offenders will be fined between $15 and $35 but persistent violators could be fined the maximum of $99. Between 2000 and 2007, about 400 pedestrians were injured in the United States each year for distracted walking, according to a transportation study. And after 2000, the U.S. saw a spike in those injuries following the rise of smart phones.
But many critics of the Honolulu law argue that it infringes on their personal freedom.