Fine increasing for driving and using mobile device

Published: Jun. 14, 2011 at 9:38 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM HST
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By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands have been caught and starting July 1 it will cost people busted for driving with a mobile device even more money.

The law banning driving and using a mobile device went into effect two years ago and now the fine for getting caught is going from $97 to $147.

"If it's going to be for public safety I think it's worth doing that," said Art Liberal, Moiliili.

Art Liberal can teach us all about learning your lesson.  He was recently hit with a $130 jaywalking ticket.

"I was like oh wow, they got to make one quota and all this kind stuff, but the way I look at it is what if I got hit from a car," said Liberal.

He says drivers should have that perspective when it comes to using their mobile device while driving especially because the fine is going up another $50 which may be enough to get people to hang up and drive.

"I won't do it again you know what I mean. Before I was all grumpy, why they got to do this, I'm going to go to court and fight this, but the way I look at it, it's only for our safety," said Liberal.

Since the law began nearly 17,000 people have been cited and violators have coughed up more than $1.5 million in fines and fees, which makes it an expensive phone call if caught.

"It would be easy just to get a headset, it's cheap, $15, to $20 rather than pay a fine of a hundred and some dollars just because you didn't use this and cause an accident for what because you didn't use this.  We got to get that done," said Edson Reyes, Kahuku.

"For one thing you're putting other people in danger so that's high risk by itself," said Emery Wilson III, Waipahu.

"I think it's a good thing. I think if you're if you're going to get caught doing something illegal it's a safety hazard," said Ake Chun, Kalihi.

As far as the Honolulu Police Department is concerned enforcement won't change with the new fines.  The money collected from violators goes to the state general fund.

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