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Maui police seeking to hike cell phone citations

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:42 a.m. HST, Jan 7, 2011

Maui police are seeking a federal grant to step up enforcement of a new law banning the use of electronic devices — including cell phones — while driving.

Traffic Section Lt. Michael Kahoohanohano says his agency is seeking at least $20,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to better enforce the law, which took effect in July.

He says police have issued nearly 300 citations for illegal use of electronic devices while driving as of Dec. 31.

According to The Maui News, Police Chief Gary Yabuta told a public hearing Wednesday there's a cultural belief that it's OK to use cell phones while driving.

He says it takes time to end such attitudes, just as it took years before motorists more fully complied with seat belts laws.


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