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US city passes law to ban texting, looking at digital device while crossing the road

Published:Saturday | July 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The United States city of Honolulu has become the first major metropolis in America to ban pedestrians from looking at mobile phones, texting or using a digital device while crossing the roadways.

City officials say the measure, which is scheduled to take effect on October 25, is aimed at reducing injuries and deaths that may occur while people are walking and become distracted by their phones.

Under the new law, first time offenders will face a fine of US$15 to US$35 while repeat offenders will face fines of up to US$99.

Urgent calls to the emergency services are exempt from the ban.

The bill, also known as the Distracted Walking Law, was signed off by the mayor of Honolulu, Kirk Caldwell, after the city council voted 7 to 2 to approve it.

Some residents are, however, opposed to the legislation, accusing the government of over-regulation.