Australia’s Sidewalk Lights Will Make It Easier To Text While Walking
Cities are experimenting with new in-ground stoplights to save people from their phones and cut down on accidents
As pedestrian fatalities rise in Australia, the Sydney government is installing “in-ground traffic light technology” to cut down accidents from texting while walking. This sort of idea is gaining traction in cities as the side effects of excessive texting expand beyond the ‘text neck.’
For $250,000, the sidewalk lights will be part of a trial to cut down Sydney’s road death toll. The German cities of Cologne and Ausburn have already implemented similar technologies, and signs are already up in Stockholm warning drivers of distracted pedestrians.
When texting on the move, people slow down and are less likely to walk in a straight line. Consequently in 2014, emergency room visits involving distracted pedestrians using cellphones were up 124 percent from 2010—and up 10-fold from 2006. Technology is improving the way we socialize, but as we can see our physiology, urban environments, and transportation safety is interestingly evolving as well.