Phubbing: China city forbidden using phone while crossing road

The city of Wenzhou, in eastern China, has fined pedestrians crossing the street while they watch their cell phones.

Walking through the busy streets of Wenzhou with your eyes on your phone is associated with a behaviour called “phubbing” in local jargon.

This is an attitude of some people to snub others by turning away from a conversation, pretending to take care of their mobile phone. And “phubbing” is a behaviour strongly criticized by the residents of Wenzhou, according to local media.


The local police have issued more than 120 tickets and nearly 400 verbalizations since the entry into force of the ban on “phubbing”.

“Hello, you have just used the pedestrian crossing with your eyes glued to your mobile phone.” According to Wenzhou’s regulation on the promotion of civilized behaviour, anyone who watches on his mobile phone while crossing the road will be fined 10 yuan (about $1.48), “reports the website People’s Daily (“”).

It is dangerous for people to cross the road too slowly or at the same time looking at their phone, according to local authorities. The sanctions imposed on residents of Wenzhou for “phubbing” sparked lively discussions on social networks.

And some experts believe that to prevent similar behaviour, appropriate laws and regulations need to be developed. Others say that such laws and regulations will only complicate the work of the police.

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