Lithuania’s phone-addicted pedestrians to face fines

Young woman walks on the crosswalk and checks her smartphone for messages and does not pay any attention to traffic.

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuanian authorities say pedestrians caught using mobile devices while crossing the road will be fined up to 40 euros ($46) in a bid to reduce traffic deaths.

Vytaute Smaizyte, a transportation ministry spokeswoman, says pedestrians in Lithuania are more often involved in accidents than in other European Union countries.

She said Friday that 38 percent of road traffic fatalities in the Baltic nation are pedestrians. The EU average is 20 percent.

The head of Lithuania’s road traffic police, Vytautas Grasys, earlier had said that officials expect “good results from these measures. Fewer accidents (means) more lives saved.”

The law, adopted on Wednesday, says pedestrians can be fined as of Nov. 1 if they step onto a street or walk across it while looking at or talking into their mobile device.

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