BODEGRAVEN, THE NETHERLANDS (FEBRUARY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) – The municipality of the Dutch town of Bodegraven installed a special lighting system to counter an increase in traffic accidents involving pedestrians using their smartphones.
The lights are directly on the pavement to signal to people looking down on their phones that it is safe to cross.
The LED-lit pavement stripes, one on each side of a road crossing, are synchronised with the traffic lights. They blink green or red, so a smartphone user can keep his eyes on the screen and simultaneously see the change of traffic lights on the pavement below him.
The road crossing where the system has been installed is in the vicinity of three schools.
“We have observed that people increasingly use their smartphones in traffic and a research has shown that one of five bicycle accidents among the 12-18-year-old teenagers is caused by a smartphone,” he told Reuters Television on Friday (February 17).
“Of course we would like to ban smartphones from traffic, but that is utopia, it’s not going to happen, so we decided to anticipate this in order to improve traffic safety, as people are already walking around with smartphones and they won’t use them more just because we installed these pavement lights,” Bodegraven said.