Texting Outlawed

November 13, 2017
LOOK UP Honolulu will fine pedestrians for texting in the street.
EUGENE TANNER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

It’s illegal in 47 states to text while driving. But walking? On October 25, Honolulu, Hawaii, made it against the law to text or look down at an electronic device while crossing the street. Lawmakers hope this will solve a big problem: distracted walking. A 2013 study found that in a single year, more than 1,500 people in the U.S. ended up in hospitals for injuries resulting from walking with a mobile device.

Honolulu is the first major U.S. city with such a law. Measures in Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut have not passed. Some people say such laws intrude on their rights. Deborah Hersman, president of the National Safety Council, disagrees. She says car-safety measures once seemed strict too. “When you wear a seat belt, do you feel your rights are being taken away?” she asks.

Should more cities make it illegal to text while crossing the street? Why or why not? Send your opinion to emailbag@timeforkids.com for a chance to be published in TFK.