New Legislation in Honolulu to Stop ‘Sombies’

Talking on your phone while driving was just the beginning; then came texting and driving, now we have evolved into Sombies. Smartphone Zombies – walking while being glued to your phone. I have watched this happen in many countries all over the world, USA, Germany, Finland, Macedonia, Honduras, and Guatemala, just to name a few.

It was bad enough when we were just sitting at dinner at a restaurant with Wi-Fi; I have always been a big proponent of putting all cell phones in the middle of the table when you go out to dinner, and whoever checked their phone first picked up the tab.

Unfortunately now with data plans so cheap, everyone is connected to the internet all the time, even in communities in 3rd world countries, a WhatApp only data plan in Honduras currently costs $0.40/day – obviously pricing out the very poor, but the middle class can do it.

Lawmakers around the world are now thinking about how to best combat the ‘smombie’ craze. Those people that are walking around towns, cities, down the sidewalk, in the middle of the street – all while staring at their phones instead of paying attention to what they are going or where they are going. Hurting yourself in this manner is all fine and well (survival of the fittest) but infringing on others’ right to safety is not.

Now one popular U.S. vacation city is doing something about it. Starting this past October, Honolulu became the first major U.S. city to pass legislation making distracted walking a crime. Anyone caught looking at their phones or tablets while crossing the street will be fined between $15 and $99.

It’s an attempt to stop the increase in what they call “smartphone zombies.” Germany even has its own phrase—these people are called “smombies.”

Other cities are expected to follow suit.

Considering the number of injuries and deaths resulting from people simply not paying attention, this legislation might be helpful.

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