Honolulu is no longer a paradise for avid texters.
The New York Times reported this week that the Hawaiian city recently made it illegal for people to text while crossing the street.
Police can fine violators $35 for checking their phone at an intersection, according to The Times.
Honolulu is believed to be one of the first major U.S. cities to enact such a law, aiming to help keep pedestrians safe while walking.
“This is really milestone legislation that sets the bar high for safety,” Brandon Elefante, a Honolulu City Council member, told The New York Times.
The ban, which took effect this month, was signed into law back in July, according to Fox News.
"Sometimes, I wish there were laws that we did not have to pass, that perhaps common sense would prevail. But sometimes we lack common sense," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said about the bill in July, according to Hawaii News Now.
In 2011, Rexburg, Idaho, — the home of BYU-Idaho — adopted a similar ban that stopped pedestrians from using hand-held devices while walking across the street, according to the Deseret News. Rexburg allows people to use their phones while walking if they are talking, though.
Utahns will remember Utah Valley University added a “texting lane” for its students who walk and text. Matt Bambrough, the school’s creative director, told The Huffington Post the lane was to draw awareness to the issue.
“This design was intended to be visual first and functional second,” Bambrough told The Huffington Post. “In our research, the most successful environmental graphics match that formula.”
A University of Alabama study in 2011 also found that texting while walking can be a hazard. Children often find themselves distracted by their cellphones and don’t pay attention to traffic, putting them in danger, the researchers said.
In fact, schoolchildren with cellphones took 20 percent longer to cross the street and were 20 percent less likely to look out for traffic.
The Governors Highway Safety Associated said smartphones often distract both walkers and drivers, leading to more deaths, according to the Deseret News.
Pedestrian deaths rose 9 percent over the last year, hitting close to 5,987, which is the highest since the 1990s. A pedestrian dies every 1.6 hours in the U.S, the Deseret News reported.
Utah has tried to help pedestrians stay safe. For example, outside the Triad Center building, there is a “Danish offset” crosswalk, which looks like a sideways Z. It’s intentionally made to help pedestrian cross halfway, look at oncoming traffic, and then keep moving forward.
“But that's only helpful if the person actually looks. There’s no safety benefit for those buried nose-deep in phones,” according to the Deseret News.