5-speed listening (Phone Zombies - Level 3)

Mobile phone ban while crossing roads in Honolulu



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English



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Honolulu in Hawaii has become the first major American city to ban pedestrians from walking across the road while looking at mobile phones or other digital devices. The new law will start on October the 25th. It says: "No pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device." This includes mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers and digital cameras. Anyone breaking this law for the first time will get a fine of $15-$35. People who break the law for a second or third time will get a $99 fine. The new bill is called the Distracted Walking Law. Honolulu's mayor Kirk Caldwell said the law was because of the high number of accidents, injuries and deaths because of pedestrians using mobile devices.

Some lawmakers called people who text while walking, "phone zombies". Mr Caldwell said the ban was necessary to make people more aware of the dangers of texting while walking. He said: "We hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county." He added: "Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would [exist], but sometimes we lack common sense." Another lawmaker said: "As technology has advanced, we sometimes forget about the real issue, and that’s about safety." The new law is similar to one that bans texting while driving.

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