Cell phone use while driving is legal in isles


POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008

Question: I was driving and stopped in traffic at a construction zone. I was using my cell phone, and a police officer tapped on my window and said that he could ticket me - and that the fine was double in a construction zone. I didn't know we passed a law making cell phone use illegal when driving. Have we? Exactly what is the law? Second, do fines automatically double in construction zones? I have noticed while driving on the mainland that certain areas have posted signs that say, “;Double the Fine for Speeding in Construction Zones,”; but have never seen that here.

Answer: Five states - California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington - and the District of Columbia have passed laws prohibiting driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

But there is no Hawaii law prohibiting talking on a cell phone while driving, in general, much less in a construction zone, said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.

Section 291C-104 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes covers speeding in school and construction zones.

But that offense is not subject to double any speeding fine, just a flat $250 fine, Yu said.

“;We're not sure what the officer meant”; when he issued his warning, she said.

Q: Are there laws governing the proper carrying of swords? I use several champagne sabers for the ceremonial act of “;sabrage”; (the French tradition of opening champagne with swords). I have been told that all swords, whether sharpened or not, must be transported in a proper bag or case. I am confused as to what exactly is the kind of bag or case that I should be using. Could you please fill me in as to the proper procedures?

A: A sword technically could be defined as a deadly weapon, under Section 134-51 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes - “;Dangerous and Deadly Weapons.”;

But there is no law requiring a sword, sharpened or not, to be carried or transported in a case, according to Maj. Alan Bluemke of the Honolulu Police Department.

If the sword is not being used to threaten anyone, it would not be considered a dangerous instrument, he said.

Still, although it is not required, Bluemke recommends that swords be transported in a case so as not to raise undue alarm or scrutiny.


Share a Cart

Regarding the complaint that additional green carts are needed to take care of some people's yard waste (”;Kokua Line,”; Oct. 8): Just pal around with your neighbors. We do that on our street and share our rubbish carts. If one neighbor has just a little trash, we just put our extra load in his cart. This is just a simple suggestion. - Fujinagas of Aiea



To rescue “;angels”; Capt. John Bower, Dan Smith, Koa Ralph Camera and Jason Mitsuyoshi. They deserve props and honors for helping me after I fell from my wheelchair recently. I was treated with kind words and reassurance. I am thankful for them helping me on that most difficult day. - Mrs. Blossom Courtney