Crossing a Honolulu street? Don’t text

HONOLULU (AP) — Of all the beautiful scenery to see in Honolulu, officials want to make sure residents and tourists get a good look at the street.

Honolulu this week became the largest city in the U.S. to make it illegal for people to look at cellphones, tablets or video games while crossing a road or highway. It comes as a few states still have not outlawed texting while driving.

It remains to be seen how the law can be enforced on an island that draws tourists from across the globe. The tourism industry is trying to educate visitors, but a smattering of tourists interviewed Wednesday — the day the law took effect — said they had no clue.

Amy Pawlowski, who was visiting from Phoenix, had not heard about the new restrictions on mobile devices.

“It seems as though the enforcement aspect would be quite difficult and almost that the government efforts would be better spent with the law prohibiting drivers from being on their phones while driving,” she said just after glancing at her phone while crossing a Waikiki street. “Perhaps they (pedestrians) are using a navigation device that is helping them navigate Waikiki or Honolulu.”

The law applies to the entire island of Oahu. A first offense for the distracted walking ordinance carries a fine of between $15 and $35. It increases to between $75 and $99 for a third offense within a year of the first violation.Officers in tourist-heavy Honolulu have discretion to issue a warning or a ticket, police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said.