Honolulu Considers Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

It’s hard to argue with this one…

The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure which would ban text messaging and playing video games while driving.

As reported by the Honolulu Advertiser, the council will vote on the bill later this month. Perhaps surprisingly, the Honolulu Police Department does not support the idea:

Police do not support the bill because "we can’t enforce it because we can’t determine what the person is doing while driving," said Maj. Thomas T. Nitta, head of the department’s traffic division.

As GamePolitics reported last September, a Honolulu city bus driver was suspended after a passenger photographed him playing a handheld game while driving.

GP: I really think that I should be dispatched to Honolulu to cover this story in person for a couple of weeks…

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Thomas says:

    What’s wrong with being expected to follow common sense rules every time in a situation where you…

    A. are in control of a vehicle that can kill at least you and your passangers, as well as other road users and pedestrians, and cause significant collateral damage.

    B. need to not only pass several tests to prove you know the rules and are capable of controling said vehicle, but also spend a great deal of money and time practicing and taking lessons before you are allowed a licence.

    C. are part of a society that constantly shows us the results in the media of irresponsible behavior while controling said vehicles.

    Cars and other vehicles, kill people, very very easily, by accident, when not controlled by responsible people. A mass of metal travelling so fast it can destroy not only the occupants but also anyone and anything it hits before they have time to blink should NOT be under the control of irresponsible people.

  2. 0
    Father Time says:

    What’s wrong with a simple ticket for phoning, texting or gaming?


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  3. 0
    Thomas says:

    I used to know a long distance truck driver who played online games while driving.

    My solution for this, as with any sort of dangerous behavior that takes away from concentration while driving… be it phoning, texting, drinking, drugs, gaming, wahtever… is to take their liscence away, perminantly, for the first offense.

    A car is a lethal weapon in the wrong hands, nobody who breaks the rules of either common sense or the road deserves one.

  4. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    You know what you should do?  Ban her from text messaging.  Hell, stop paying for texting while you’re at it.  The whole ‘text messaging’ thing has become way too obnoxious.  I was working with a Proffessor and his undergrad research slaves (interns, as they like to be called), trying to get one to print me out some of the comparative statistics they had just finished, when the jackass whips out his cellphone and fires off five text messages when he should be working!  And that’s not the only instance of obnoxious texting either!

  5. 0
    Father Time says:

    Here in my neck of the woods there was a big train crash caused by a conductor who was texting some train enthusiasts.

    A lot of people died and it was the route my father uses. Luckily for him he got on a train that was after the one that crashed so was unscathed.

    I have little sympathy for those that text while driving now. (I’m not in favor of max punishment or anything but still).


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  6. 0
    Father Time says:

    I just thought of a way around it. Have more than one person in the car, then when the cop pulls you over say your passenger was using the cell phone.

    Of course it won’t work when driving alone.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  7. 0
    tubby131313 says:

    I think the US Interstate system should be upgraded with a Cell Phone/ Teenager/ I.Q. Less than average lane. Then the rest of us, who can drive sensibly and wait until we stop to make a call, can have the road to ourselves.

  8. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    Or you could just require cell phone companies to log times of all texts sent/received for something like two hours, then the officer could pull the person over and ask to see their cell phone.

    Give the police the ability to determine if texts were sent from the driver’s phone, and if they were, bam, caught.

    (Note:I’m not saying to log the texts, just send or receive events)

    As for handheld games, well, that’s a bit harder to do.


    The penalties for this should be the same as drunk driving, it’s reckless endangerment of other people.

  9. 0
    axiomatic says:

    My daughter is in fact grounded from her car right now for this very thing. We crossed paths in the neighborhood, she in her car, I in mine, and I saw he looking down. I u-turned and followed her back to my house and said "hand me the cellphone." Discovered that she had sent txts during her total drive from her friends house. Now she gets to take the bus to school again for two weeks.

    I will not tolerate putting another idiot driver on the roads.

  10. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    The government doesn’t care if you don’t have rights.  Nothing you’ve said over a phone has been private for the better part of 30 years.  Nothing you’ve emailed anyone is private.  This isn’t that big a step really, all things considered.  Just like those laws they keep trying to pass in commiefornia about not being able to spank your kids, the government doesn’t care if you lose some freedom.

  11. 0
    Father Time says:

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    (I can’t unbold it, sorry).

    I wouldn’t call text while driving essential and it doesn’t really seem like temporary safety it seems like if followed it would probably make some kind of permanent impact on driving (unless/until people switch to another distraction).

    As the police said though it’s hard to enforce.

    They’re public roads though so the government can control what you do on them. The other things you mentioned involve private property and are just arbitrary and stupid laws.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  12. 0
    Praetorian says:

    Actually, the police can pull the phone records for a cell phone from any company should they need it. After working for the legal department for Sprint, I don’t trust anything I can do on a cell phone as everyone can read it.

    Texting while driving is just stupid.

    Talking on a cell is something some people can do while they drive and most can’t do while they drive, hands free or not. I don’t have a problem with people on the phone while driving, it’s really no different than someone playing with the radio or singing along to their favorite song.

    In fact, some people don’t need a cell phone to drive like a moron, if you live in Seattle, you know what I mean. Can’t begin to count how many times I’ve been cutoff on the 405.

    In the end, reguardless of what people vote on, the government will continue to remove the little freedoms in our life like smoking inside, being less than four feet away when the stripper is topless, and talking on a cell phone while driving.

    I saw a Ben Franklin quote from a member on here about sacrificing a little liberty for a little safety…

    Maybe the government needs to follow that rule more closely.


    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

    ECA Seattle Chapter


  13. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    My problem with laws like this is that it punishes everyone.  For example, in some states it is illegal to drive without shoes on.  Now, when I go for a long cross country drive during some warm weather, I don’t like wearing my shoes while I drive.  But because some jackass used the excuse ‘the peddle’s ribbing hurt my foot’ we don’t get to do that in those states!  Like the whole driving with the leg thing, there are thousands of people who pull it off every day, but there’s always the one moron who can’t do it and fucks it up for the rest of us.

  14. 0
    sortableturnip says:

    Don’t forget picking your nose, scratching your balls, driving with your leg, eating, sleeping, picking your teeth, kissing, doin’ the nasty, adjusting your seat, adjusting the wheel…

  15. 0
    sqlrob says:

    I disagree with this law, and the police are less creative than I imagine.

    The concept of the law is fine, but it doesn’t go far enough. Why name anything specifically? If it distracts you from driving, you shouldn’t be doing it. Phone, texting, reading, gamimg, shaving, makeup, DVD, masturbation (all of which I have seen drivers do) IT DOESN’T MATTER. Reckless driving would cover it all.

  16. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    Now this is nuts!  The police can’t tell what you’re doing while driving?  What idiot made that guy the head traffic cop?  If a person is not concentrating on the road and if he doesn’t have two hands on the wheel (both of which can be seen from another car) it’s a pretty good bet he’s a dangerous driver and should be removed from the road ASAP.  If the traffic police can’t do that, then we may as well save ourselves some money by firing the whole fricken lot of them.

    Anyway, isn’t this law already on the books in the form of a generic ‘dangerous driving’ law?  I mean, as I understand it, the police can ticket you for driving without paying proper attention.

  17. 0
    reverandspaniel says:

    U.K. law is that you’re not allowed to use your mobile at all while driving – regardless of what you’re doing. Also, there’s provisions which relate to doing anything which causes you to drive without undue care and attention. People have been charged with a criminal offence just for driving dangerously, even if they don’t cause an accident. They’ve been charged driving their car erratically while changing their radio station, applying their make-up, eating breakfast and smoking.

    Honolulu could really do with this law, but then again, you can’t always legislate for every possible situation.

  18. 0
    deuxhero says:

    I would say "in operation of the vechicle" otherwise people would be arrested for turning on their headlights or adjusting their gear.


    But this shouldn’t even have to be considered.

  19. 0
    Nocturne says:

    "we can’t enforce it because we can’t determine what the person is doing while driving,"

    Unless it involves both their hands being on the wheel they probably shouldn’t be doing it anyway. I mean surely they couldn;t get away with a defence of "I wasn’t texting, I was adding Calander notes for the year".. then again

Leave a Reply