Some states are taking aim at “distracted” pedestrians, is yours?

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - APRIL 12:  Red pedestrian lights, don't walk, on April 12, 2012, in Washington, United States. Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)***Local Caption***
Caption
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Red pedestrian lights, don't walk, on April 12, 2012, in Washington, United States. Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)***Local Caption***

Credit: Thomas Trutschel

Credit: Thomas Trutschel

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.

Explore>> Read more trending news

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 a growing number of injuries and death has swept across, not only Honolulu, but the entire country, too. Distracted crashes are happening in Florida far more often than in other states.

A report released this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association states that the number of pedestrians killed in the U.S. in 2016 jumped 11 percent from the previous year, the single-biggest increase in fatalities ever.

The study totaled 5,997 pedestrians killed in 2016, compared with 5,376 in 2015 and 4,910 in 2014.

Explore>> Related: Distracted wlking ‘a death wish’ for pedestrians focused on phones

Experts say that distractions — those of pedestrians and drivers — are the biggest factor in the surge.

Read more here.