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New Hawaii cellphone law raises fines for drivers

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COMCastle High School student Gabriella Pintor, 18, tried to navigate a course while holding a cellphone Saturday during the “Distracted Driving” segment of the state Department of Education’s 21st annual student driving competition at Aloha Stadium.
    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Castle High School student Gabriella Pintor, 18, tried to navigate a course while holding a cellphone Saturday during the “Distracted Driving” segment of the state Department of Education’s 21st annual student driving competition at Aloha Stadium.

Changes in Hawaii law for using a cellphone while driving take effect Tuesday.

Sgt. Robert Pauole of the Hawaii Police Department tells West Hawaii Today that drivers cited for using a cellphone while driving will no longer be required to make a mandatory court appearance.

He says the court system became congested with violators and the law was changed to make cellphone texting or talking an infraction.

It’s not all good news for distracted drivers, however.

Pauole says the fine is increasing to $297. Previous fines under state law for a first offense were at least $100 and not more than $200.

The measure outlaws the use while driving of cellphones, text messaging devices, paging devices, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, video games and digital cameras.

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