31 Jan 2009

Hawaii bans use of electronic devices while driving

5:27 am on 31 January 2009

The Honolulu City Council in Hawaii has approved a bill banning the use of electronic devices to play games or send text messages while driving.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that council members agreed the bill could serve as a first step toward imposing a more effective, comprehensive ban on the use of handheld devices such as mobile phones while driving.

Councilman Nestor Garcia says most citizens will abide by it so if one accident can be prevented, whether it be by texting or playing a video game, then the imperfect law on the books will have done its job.

Approved by a 7-1 margin, the bill will ban writing, sending or reading text-based communication while driving, including text messages, instant messages and e-mail.

Councilman Rod Tam, the only member to vote against the ban, says the bill is bad legislation, unenforceable and embarrassing.

Honolulu's Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who can sign the bill into law or veto it, has expressed similar concerns.