Honolulu bans pedestrian zombies from crosswalks while looking at smartphones in new legislation. Getty Images

Hawaii’s largest city will ban pedestrians from crossing the street while looking at their smartphones in attempt to curb “distracted walking.”

As of October 25, Honolulu pedestrians can receive fines between $15 and $99 if they are caught looking at their phones, tablets or any other electronic device as they traverse the city’s crosswalks. Honolulu is the first major U.S. city to pass legislation that looks to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from “smartphone zombies” crossing the street.

People calling emergency services are exempt from the penalty and fines increase with the matter of times pedestrians have been caught looking at their smartphones or devices in the past. Many of these “smartphone zombies” aren’t even injured by passing vehicles or cyclists – they often run into stationary objects themselves. Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville were all Florida cities that have also tried to keep people whose heads are buried in their phones from crossing city streets.

Read: Pokemon Go Increases Risk Of Distracted Driving, Walking Incidents In The US

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell addressed reporters Thursday regarding the new legislation.

"We hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county," Caldwell said, after signing the legislation passed in a 7-2 city council vote earlier this month.

Ordinance 17-39 from the city council reads: “No pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device…The purpose of this ordinance is to regulate the use of mobile electronic devices by certain persons.”

Honolulu’s data on distracted-walking incidents, deaths or injuries was not available but a University of Maryland study published in 2015 and cited by Reuters found there more than 11,000 distracted walking injuries reported in the U.S. between 2000 and 2011.

The ordinance defines “mobile electronic device” as “any handheld or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing wireless and/or data communication between two or more persons or of providing amusement, including but not limited to a cellular phone, text messaging device, paging device, personal digital assistant, laptop computer, video game, or digital photographic device, but does not include any audio equipment.”

"Cell phones are not just pervading our roadways but pervading our sidewalks too," Maureen Vogel, a spokeswoman for the council, said in a phone interview on Friday with Reuters.

Not everyone in Honolulu is a proponent of the pedestrian legislation. Resident Ben Robinson told the city council in a written testimony, “Scrap this intrusive bill, provide more education to citizens about responsible electronics usage, and allow law enforcement to focus on larger issues.”

This is also not the first case of cities worldwide looking to curb pedestrian incidents related to smartphone zombies. In Augsburg, Germany last year, the city embedded traffic signals into the ground near tram tracks to grab the attention of downward-fixated pedestrians tapping away at their devices.