Cell ban takes effect - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Cell ban takes effect

Edward Leota Edward Leota
Jane Shaw Jane Shaw

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL)- You probably know about it, but are you prepared? Starting July 1st, Honolulu's cell phone ban hits the streets. The use of cell phones behind the wheel is officially off-limits unless you have a hands-free device.

For some, electronic devices are survival. But now, talking, texting, basically any technology behind the wheel is no longer allowed. But will that make our streets safer?

Speeding, seat belts and now cell phones. Honolulu streets are stricter.

"I'm all for it," said Driver Tee Alopepe.

"It'll be much safer," said Driver Jennifer Quiba.

"Just a regular hand phone, you talk and you make mistakes," said Driver Elle Barba.

Police are on patrol, that's why Edward Leota pulled over.

"All of a sudden the phone started to ring, I figured I'd pull to the side and answer the phone," said Driver Edward Leota.

But not Jane Shaw.

"I violated the cell phone rule twice today," said Driver Jane Shaw.

She's not a rebel, she just thinks the rule should only apply to those who aren't paying attention on the road.

"If you're going to ban cell phones, why aren't you banning people having dogs on their laps while driving their vehicles, to me, that's a lot more dangerous," said Shaw.

But there are dangers on the road even when we think there aren't. Hands free devices won't make the streets safer themselves, it's just part of the bigger solution of being aware.

"I don't think it will be a 100% guarantee," said Quiba.

"There are other problems out there. We'll see how it goes, if the rates go down," said Alopepe.

With a year into California's cell phone ban, officers say despite issuing nearly 50,000 tickets, there's too little data to determine if the law's prevented accidents. But in Honolulu, drivers agree, it can only help.

The ban's exceptions include dialing 911 or if you're on the side of the road with your engine off. Otherwise, you don't want to chance it. A first offense is a $67 fine but a judge can order a repeat offender to pay as much as $500.

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