City council approves cell phone ban - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City council approves cell phone ban

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Catherine Brown Catherine Brown
Paige Jimenez and Caelyn Brown Paige Jimenez and Caelyn Brown
Mayor Mufi Hannemann Mayor Mufi Hannemann

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hang up or pay up! The Honolulu City Council votes to outlaw the use of cell phones and electronic devices while driving.

First it was states like New York and California and now Honolulu is likely to follow, taking hands-off distractions so that drivers can focus on the road.

11-year-olds Paige Jimenez and Caelyn Brown are close to celebrating big. Their push for a cell phone/electronic device ban started all because of one bad driver.

"We were driving on the H-1 and a woman cut me off. Caelyn yells from the backseat why don't they have that law," said Caelyn's mother Catherine Brown.

So they went to work to try and make one, getting city and county leaders aware of the technology's threat to roads.

"Many lives are at stake if they don't have it," said Paige Jimenez and Caelyn Brown.

"Every time you get in the car you're using it in some form or fashion," said a driver.

"I think it's a good deal," said a driver.

This isn't the first time local leaders considered this type of legislation. An earlier attempt to outlaw texting and playing video games failed because of enforcement flaws. This one tells drivers, no hands-free device, then hands off or else face a fine up to $100.

"Almost everyone thinks it's a good thing," said Councilmember Gary Okino.

Everyone except Councilmember Todd Apo, the sole vote against the ban. The measure now goes to Mayor Mufi Hannemann who says he'll likely sign it into law.

"We all have to change behavior but I think it will make for a safer driving experience," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

A sigh of relief for these future drivers, one step away from making city and county streets safer.

If signed, the law will take effect in July requiring the use of hands-free devices, which can cost anywhere from $40 to a few hundred dollars.