Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Honolulu City Council Bans Cell Phones While Driving

The Honolulu City Council has just passed a bill to ban the use of electronic devices, including cell phones, while driving. I am a habitual cell phone while driving user, however I do support this initiative, if anything, for the safety concerns surrounding driving and cell phones.

The bill is on its way to Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who has said he supports the measure, which bans the use of text messaging and paging devices, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, video games and digital photographic devices. The only exceptions to the rule are for on-the-job taxi drivers and commercial-vehicle drivers, as well as for police, fire-fighting and emergency-response personnel.

The good new is that the bill does not prohibit hands-free cell-phone use, such as with earphones or speakerphones, or devices such as Bluetooth headsets - so if you don't have a headset, its time to head to Ala Moana Center and purchase one! For those of you who are travelling to Hawaii, keep this in mind while driving, as the last thing you need is a ticket to spoil your vacation.


jordana said...

I hate the law but love it at the same time. I'm like you - car time is the best time for me to make calls. Haha. I bet headset companies are celebrating...

Kris Nelson said...

The city of Chicago passed a similar measure a few years ago, but only did it for talking on the phone without a hands-free device. They weren't savvy enough to include texting in the first ban, so they're trying to get that included as well.

I don't have figures to support it, but the general consensus is that here in Chicago it's a hard law to enforce, and not a lot of tickets were given out as a result. If you're in an accident or pulled over for a separate moving violation and found to have been chatting on your phone, they'll include another ticket for it, but I guess there aren't enough men in blue around just to pull you over for it.

In any case, the spirit of this type of law does have good intentions, and there aren't many cases you can make against it.