Turbin Chu Heidt Attorneys at Law
Call for a Free Consultation 808-528-4000
contact us
contact Menu

Austrian city pads street posts because of texting pedestrians

Have you ever run into something because you didn’t watch where you were going?

Honolulu made international news this fall when the city passed a law aiming to reduce pedestrian accidents. The reason is because it fines walkers who look at their phone while crossing the street. The law acknowledges a growing problem: pedestrians looking down for directions or texts from the friends instead of watching where they are going. Salzburg, Austria, which is also a popular tourist attraction, took a more creative approach to the problem: wrapping street light posts with airbags to cushion the inevitable collisions.

Here in Honolulu, it’s a $35 fine for crossing the street without putting the phone down. It’s a minor fee, but one that raises awareness of a basic safety precaution.

Inattention increases the risk factor

Safety is the reason why cities are cracking down. 2017 statistics aren’t in yet, but in 2016 pedestrian deaths increased by 9 percent from the previous year. A New York Times article notes that people who text and walk are roughly four times more likely to make dangerous decisions, such as jaywalking, walking slower across a street, or not looking where they are going. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians died in the US. It’s a global phenomenon hitting everywhere from Honolulu to Rexburg, ID to Salzburg.

Pedestrian accidents

Any time an accident occurs, there are some important steps to take. First, victims should seek immediate medical attention. It’s also important to file a police report for legal documentation of the incident, to get out of the way of traffic if the accident blocks traffic flow, and to get contact information of everyone involved, including witnesses.

While the numbers above concern pedestrian deaths, many more walkers and joggers are hit by cars every year, with less accurate statistics tracking it because many do not file reports on the incidents. Injuries range from broken bones to concussions and brain injuries that may not be identifiable immediately. Anyone in an accident should consult with an attorney to discuss your case, your individual rights and your medical needs. Many injuries are more severe than they first let on, and it’s important not to take the first offer without careful consideration.

Safety over convenience

In Honolulu, police are helping confront the issue with citations. Salzburg has padded street posts, and other cities are raising awareness through signs and clever marketing campaigns. As mobile devices change how people behave, safety always needs to come before convenience.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

contact us free consultations

office location

Turbin Chu Heidt Attorneys at Law
737 Bishop Street
Suite 2730
Honolulu, HI 96813

Phone: 808-379-3586
Phone: 808-528-4000
Fax: 808-599-1984
Honolulu Law Office Map