Statewide Cellphone Ban Inches Closer to Reality in Hawaii

Posted on March 20, 2013

Various laws which target distracted driving are being considered across the country.  States that have yet to pass texting and driving bans are looking into the possibility of enacting legislation on the matter, and those states that already have such measures in place are wondering whether it’s time to go further and ban cellphone usage altogether.  This next story concerns the latter.

In Hawaii, persons who attempt to use their cellphones at the wheel will already find themselves running afoul of the law.  That’s because every county within the state has passed its own ban on using a cellphone while driving.  But thus far, the state has not enacted an all-encompassing ban on the practice.

That could soon change, though, if a proposal continues to make its way through the legislature.  Two days ago found HB980 being approved by two Senate committees, clearing the way for the bill to be read a second time in front of the Senate.  Once that takes place, it will go in front of the Ways and Means Committee.

It all coincides with the Governor declaring next month as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The current measure has the support of the Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii’s Highway Safety Council, and the Transportation Department, which has talked up the bill’s ability to enable the state to seek out federal grant money, which can in turn improve education and enforcement capabilities.

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