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CNET asks: Should phone use while crossing the street become illegal?

In Honolulu it will be soon illegal to use your phone in the crosswalk. CNET wants to know if you think this law is a good move or a bad one?

Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images
Culture

If you're going to visit Honolulu, Hawaii, anytime after September, be warned that you will be breaking the law if you're looking at your phone or mobile device while crossing the street.  A bill was just passed in Honolulu that makes this an illegal act -- the law goes into effect on October 25. If caught by the authorities, there's no jail time, but it will put a bit of hurt on your wallet.  The violation fines can range from $15 to $99, depending on how many times the police have caught you looking at your phone -- one look, cha-ching; three looks, cha-ching, cha- ching, cha-ching...

This is the first law of this type implemented by a major city in the US. The reason why it's been enacted is (I shouldn't have to tell you) -- to help reduce injuries and deaths from distracted walking, which has become a problem not only in Honolulu, but around the globe. I see this everyday on my walk to and from work on my city streets, not just on the sidewalk but frequently in the crosswalks as well. People bump into each other, and I've even seen a close call where a person was almost hit by a car because their eyes were glued to their phone. I completely get why Honolulu has passed this law to save these zombies people from endangering themselves.

While Honolulu is the first city to pass this sort of law, we want to know if you think it's a move in the right direction to help reduce accidents or deaths? Or is it waste of time at the tax payers' expense that won't work? What alternatives do you suggest? How about allocation of law enforcement personnel -- is this a waste of their resources that pulls them away from larger issues? Or do feel that this law is the only way to get people pay attention and get them off their phones while crossing the street?  Do you see this law passing in other cities, or will Honolulu remain the only one?  Give these question some thought. And when you've made up your mind, weigh in on the poll and sound off in the comments section with your feelings about this law.

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