Hawaiʻi Island police will increase enforcement of distracted driving in the month of April as part of a national campaign called “U Drive U Text U Pay”.
Distracted driving is a problem of national concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the task of driving requires a driver’s full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers.
Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road or hands off the wheel.
On July 1, 2013, the State of Hawaiʻi enacted law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle (with certain exceptions) and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming and e-mailing, which take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road and hands off the wheel. Use of an electronic device while operating a vehicle is a $297 fine and $307 if the violation is within a school or construction zone.