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Pavement lights guide ‘smartphone zombies’

Apr 1, 2017

Sourced from BBC.com

Pavement lights have been installed at a pedestrian crossing in a Netherlands town to help smartphone users cross the road safely.

The light strips are designed to catch the eye of people looking down at their device, and change colour to match traffic signals.

The lure of games and social media has come “at the expense of attention to traffic”, said councillor Kees Oskam. But Dutch road safety group VVN said the idea “rewards bad behaviour”.

Image copyright FLORIS VEELENTURF
Image caption – The lights change colour to match pedestrian signals
“It’s not a good idea to help mobile phone users look at their phones,” said Jose de Jong of VVN, the Dutch Traffic Safety Association.

“We don’t want people to use phones when they’re dealing with traffic, even when walking around. People must always look around them, to check if cars are actually stopping at the red signals.”

The lights have been installed on a trial basis at one crossing, close to three schools in Bodegraven. The company that developed the technology says it hopes to offer the strips to other towns in the future.

Similar pavement lights are being tested in the German city of Augsburg to help so-called “smartphone zombies” navigate level crossings.

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