NEW: Can a law make Florida streets safe from ‘smartphone zombies’?


Hawaii is known for beaches, volcanoes and Mai Tais. And beginning Oct. 25, its capital city of Honolulu will be recognized as the only major U.S. city to ticket “distracted” pedestrians as they cross the street.

Under the new law, “smartphone zombies” can be fined from $15 to $99, depending on the number of times they are caught by police officers walking inattentively while concentrating on their electronic gadgets. Calls to emergency services are exempt from the ban.

“Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass — that perhaps common sense would prevail,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters last week. “But sometimes we lack common sense.”

An epidemic of distracted walking leading to growing numbers of injuries and death has swept across not only Honolulu but the entire country as well. And distracted crashes are happening in Florida far more often than in other states.

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