Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
As a car driver, it drives you mad.
But when you’re a pedestrian, have you ever crossed a road while, say, looking at Facebook or even replying to a text?
Be honest now, and beware if you go to Honolulu.
Hawaii’s capital has decided it’s had enough of humans who have been zombified by their phones.
The mayor, Kirk Caldwell, signed a bill Thursday that makes it illegal to “cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device.” The ban takes effect in October.
Caldwell didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. This bill, however, seems to have sense at its heart.
Caldwell told Reuters that he was driven by data. He said Honolulu had a particularly severe problem with pedestrians — especially seniors — being hit in crosswalks.
You might wonder how punitive this bill is. A first violation gets you a $15 to $35 fine. It’s a $35 to $75 fine for a second offense. A third offense could cost you as much as $99.
Emergency responders using a phone in the line of duty are exempt, as is anyone calling 911.
This may be the first time a city has managed to pass such legislation. In 2016, a New Jersey Democratic assemblywomanthat would fine texter-walkers $50, with persistent offenders being sent to jail. This, however, didn’t even get to a vote.
It’s easy to assume that those who use their phones while walking are always being selfish and frivolous.
In some cases, though, as a 2015 Pew study showed, some people feel the need to catch up with tasks, as they walk. Technology has warped us, after all.
It would be heartening to think a law could tear people away from their phones and toward the real world.
Some cities, though, have given up on that hope. Instead, they’veto tell the cellphone-addled when it’s safe to cross.
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