Honolulu has a new law that makes it illegal for pedestrians to stare at a cellphone, tablet or any other electronic device while crossing the road — unless they're calling 911. Minimum fines for breaking the new law start at $15. And repeat offenders will cough up between $75 and $99. In Europe, some cities have tried sidewalk light signals and even padded poles to help protect electronics-distracted pedestrians.
Class discussion: Do you text or read on your phone while you are walking? Do you think such distractions could make you vulnerable to stumbling, walking into obstacles or being hit by a vehicle? Would the threat of a big fine change your behavior? Why are people so obsessed with texting that they will put themselves in danger? Is our need to constantly keep connected electronically some sort of addiction? Are we ignoring the people right next to us?