There are already traffic lights on the ground for those who live by looking at the phone

Have you ever gotten so deep into your cell phone that you forgot to look both ways before crossing the street? Then this is of interest to you: in the city of Augsburg, in southern Germany, the authorities in charge of roads have just installed a series of traffic lights on the ground so that pedestrians do not have to disregard WhatsApp when crossing the streets.

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Women at Floor Traffic Lights

Strategically located just before a railway line, the traffic lights turn red when the vehicle approaches – the first traffic signals of their kind in the world.

In Germany, it was customary to follow the rules of the road very strictly. But with the advent of smartphones, social media and always-on connectivity, the landscape has changed completely: a study conducted earlier this year found that more than 20% of German pedestrians are distracted by their cell phones. Around the same time, a 15-year-old girl was hit by a tram in Augsburg while sending a text message from her smartphone – and it was from this incident that the local government decided to install a new type of traffic light. Take a look at how it works (in German).

For many it will seem ridiculous, and they will even believe that it is more logical to start an awareness program or establish some kind of fine for those who walk distracted with a cell phone in their hand. However, those things also end up being a permanent expense for the city and a possible limitation for the citizen. But these ground-level traffic lights adapt not only to the environment, but also to people’s practices and customs, preventing accidents in a much more pleasant way.



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