Netherlands Introduces Pavement LEDs to Alert “Smartphone Zombies”

Crossing the road safely is an important rule that everyone should bear in mind. There are also signs everywhere to remind us of road safety. However, smartphone zombies, namely pedestrians who are obsessed with their phones and do not pay attention to their surroundings while walking, have taken over the world. They even cross the roads with their eyes glued to their phones, to the extent that they become a hazard to themselves and others.
(Photo Credit: HIG Traffic Systems)
In the Netherlands, cycling is the most popular form of travel and drivers usually would not compete with pedestrians and cyclists. Thus, the number of road accidents is relatively low. However, smartphone zombies still exist, and if they are listening to music on their phones at the same time, they will be even more unaware of traffic conditions.
To keep smartphone zombies safe, the Dutch town of Bodegraven is trialing a new ground-level traffic light system which alerts pedestrians when they are about to cross the road.
(Photo Credit: HIG Traffic Systems)
According to The Guardian, this “+ Light Line” project uses a series of LED lights that are embedded into the ground at pedestrian crossings. The LED light strips are designed to attract the attention of pedestrians looking down at their device, and they will alternate between red and green to match traffic signals. As a result, smartphone users will know when to step out without looking up.
Since people are increasingly distracted by their phones at the expense of safety, as a local official commented, it is difficult to reverse this trend. However, with this new system, it is possible to prevent accidents from happening, and encourage people to pay attention to traffic conditions.
This LED lightning system is developed by Dutch firm HIG Traffic Systems. If the scheme is a success, the system will be rolled out to other Dutch towns and cities, and will possible be embedded into bike lanes.
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