Honolulu’s City Council recently passed a new law prohibiting the use of a cell phone while crossing the street. This has led to further discussions about other potential new “combo” activity prohibitions.
“There are literally hundreds of daily activities, that by themselves pose no danger, but when combined with other seemingly harmless activities can create serious and unacceptable risks,” said Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi. “We need to pass laws against all of these potentially dangerous combinations of activities.”
What began a couple years ago as a ban against the use of cell phones and texting while driving has expanded into a substantial list of prohibited “combo” activities. In addition to cell phones, it is now illegal to combine driving with: eating, applying make up, picking your nose, reading, watching television (or YouTube), cooking, dog grooming or crocheting.
New “combo” laws are not limited to driving activities. A ban on singing in the shower was passed after testimony about increased accidents involving slipping on soap due to inattention and spontaneous, attempted “dance” moves; and the horrific multiple electrocution case caused by the short circuit of a karaoke amplifier. These incidents led to a ban on singing, reading, the use of amplified electrical equipment, cell phone use, texting, and soap while taking a shower.
The use of iPads and laptops came under fire also; leading to the new ban on their use while nude. “You do know there’s camera’s in those things!” cautioned Kobayashi.
Other new laws under consideration by Kobayashi’s committee are: Banning the use of a microwave while operating a blender, spearing buffo toads around electrical extension cords, smoking a cigar within two miles of a gas station and any attempt to chew gum and draft legislation simultaneously.