The authorities in Zambia have passed a law that prohibits pedestrians from crossing the road while wearing headsets or talking on a mobile phone.
A person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding 1,000 kwacha, according to a clause in the new law.
A pedestrian must wait for the traffic lights to turn red for motor vehicles to stop, before crossing a road at a junction that is controlled by traffic lights, it says.
Frederick Mubanga, the spokesperson for the body that deals with road safety, says the law is aimed at curbing road traffic accidents.
“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,” he told the BBC.
“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 said in the past, emphasis was on the motorists but going forward, this won’t be the case.
Mr Mubanga said the police will seek arrest warrants against offenders who don’t pay the fine.
He said the Zambia police and the road traffic agency have been empowered to enforce the law.