By James Kunda
LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) - Zambia has passed a law that prohibits pedestrians from using headphones, earphones or talking on the phone while crossing the road.
Statutory Instrument (SI) Number 76 of 2022, signed by Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali, warns that violators of the law will be subject to a fine not exceeding 1,000 penalty units equivalent 300 Zambian Kwachas ($15.71) upon conviction.
"For drivers, the SI has guided that they give way when pedestrians are using a pedestrian crossing which is not controlled by a traffic officer, traffic warden or police officer," said Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) spokesman Fred Mubanga in a statement Thursday in the capital Lusaka.
The SI further states that cyclists must at all times have one hand on the handlebars while cycling.
The latest step by the southern African nation is among measures designed to reduce the number of road accidents, which have continued to rise, said the RTSA.
According to the latest statistics from the Zambian Police, the country recorded 9,070 road accidents nationwide during the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to 8,505 during the same period in 2021, or an increase of 565.
During the period under review, 501 accidents were recorded as fatal road traffic accidents in which 570 people were killed, while 877 were recorded as serious injury accidents in which 1,501 people were seriously injured.