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Honolulu Goes Hands-Free

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Oahu
Jul 13, 2009

Do you talk on your phone and drive?  How about text and drive?  Or play games on your iPhone while you sit in traffic?

Today, I drove to Lihu’e. It’s a 30-mile, round-trip journey that takes me past Kealia Beach—boogie boarders popped in and out of view as the waves rolled ashore. Through downtown Kapa’a—diners lined up outside Mermaid’s Café, famous for their ahi nori wraps. My progress slowed a bit as traffic funneled across the Wailua River bridge. That’s when I pulled out my phone and started texting.

Yes, I drive and text.  But, possibly, not for much longer.

On July 1, 2009, the city and county of Honolulu/O'ahu banned the use of portable electronics, such as cell phones, video games and music players, by drivers of vehicles that have their engines running, and on the first day, the police ticketed 38 drivers in violation of the new law.

I expect my days of texting and driving are numbered. I predict the law will go something like this: First, O’ahu. Then, the state of Hawai’i.  (Keep in mind, Kaua'i is not O'ahu.  Our "highway" only has two lanes with a max speed limit of 50 mph.)

In the mean time, if you’re headed for O’ahu on vacation, tuck your phone in your pocket and pop your Bluetooth in your ear.  (And since we're on the topic of multi-task-driving, drop the guidebook, too, and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.)

Note to self: Stop texting and driving. 

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