Honolulu Mayor Backs Stronger Texting-While-Driving Ban

Motorists in Honolulu, Hawaii, may still play video games or send and receive text messages as they drive, thanks to a 4-4 vote by the city council on Wednesday that sustained Mayor Mufi Hannemann's veto of a bill that would have banned both activities. The council earlier had passed the same Bill 67 by a 7-1 vote.

Hannemann called Bill 67 "flawed" and "half-baked," and he urged the council to pass the alternative Bill 4. It would impose a more comprehensive ban on the use of electronic devices while driving, including mobile phones, laptop computers, photographic devices, text messaging, and video games. The Honolulu Police Department also supports Bill 4.

"Let's get serious about this issue and craft appropriate legislation," Hannemann said. "I look forward to signing into law a measure from the council that will be enforceable and effective."

The council in 2002 considered but did not pass a ban on using cell phones while driving, and similar proposals failed in the Hawaii Legislature in 2005 and 2007, according to an article by Sean Hao in today's Honolulu Advertiser.

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