There are some people out there who walk around with their noses buried in their phones all day long. This can be dangerous in public because it means you could accidentally walk into something, bump into someone else, or accidentally walk into traffic because you did not see the pedestrian sign.
This is something that city of Bodegraven in the Netherlands wants to address, which is why they have created the “Plus Lightlines”. These are basically LED strips that are placed at road crossings. They will light up red when pedestrians aren’t allowed to cross, and turn green when they are.
The idea is that by placing them at ground level, people who can’t stop looking at their phones will at the very least be able to see the LED light strip, which lets them know if it is safe to cross. Of course they can’t take into account the probability that a driver might ignore the lights and just speed through, so one shouldn’t rely 100% on these strips to let them know if it is safe to cross.
According to town council member Kees Oskam, “People are increasingly distracted by the smartphone. The attraction of social media, games, WhatsApp and music is great, and comes at the expense of attention to traffic. As a government, we can not easily reverse this trend, but we can anticipate it.” The Plus Lightlines are installed by HIG Traffic Systems, with plans to offer up the system to more municipalities if it is proven to be a success.
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