Distracted pedestrians are a problem on roads worldwide and the popularity of smartphones has worsened this problem. What can we do about people whose attention is directed down at their phones when it should be on what’s happening on the road in front of them?
According to reports, officials in Tel Aviv, Israel, have addressed their concerns for pedestrians who are distracted by smartphones by placing specialised LED lights in the pavement in a pilot programme to try and solve this growing problem.
These “zombie traffic lights” embedded in the pavements at pedestrian crossings shine at a level where they can indicate to phone users when they should stop or go. Similar lights have been installed at pedestrian crossings in Australia, the Netherlands and Singapore while cities in the United States are testing the efficacy of issuing fines to distracted phone users.
This is not a new problem, German youth made “smombie” the word of the year in 2015. A combination of the words “smartphone” and “zombie”, it is a good description of the lack of awareness shown by people who are immersed in their phones.
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