Zambian officials have established legislation prohibiting pedestrians from crossing the road while wearing headsets or conversing on a cell phone.
According to the new law, anyone who violates this regulation commits an offence and faces a fine of up to 1,000 kwacha ($16) if convicted. It states that a pedestrian must wait for the traffic lights to turn red before crossing a road at a traffic-light controlled intersection.
According to Frederick Mubanga, the spokesperson for the organisation in charge of road safety, the rule is intended to reduce traffic accidents.
In his words, “According to our analysis, over 50% of people that die from road traffic accidents are pedestrians. And in most cases, the pedestrians may not have used the roads correctly,”
“As a way of regulating the conduct of pedestrians on the road, we needed to put up these measures so that those pedestrians using the road in an incorrect way are punished.”
He stated that in the past, the emphasis was on the motorists, but this will no longer be the case in the future.
Mr Mubanga stated that if offenders do not pay the fine, the police will issue arrest warrants.
He stated that the Zambian police and the RTSA had been given authority to enforce the legislation.
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