Traffic lights on the ground for smartphone addicts


Bodegraven, a town in the Netherlands has introduced a rather unusual way of trying to keep smartphone addicts safe.

The town has installed traffic lights in the pavement.

The strip lights on the floor at a pedestrian crossing are meant to prevent people who stare at their phones all day from wandering dangerously into traffic, the BBC reports.

The lure of games and social media has come “at the expense of attention to traffic”, said councillor Kees Oskam.

The strip lights apart from their unusual location work like ordinary traffic lights, Red for stop and green for go.

The lights are built by HIG Traffic Systems, a company based in the town, which hopes to sell them more widely to other towns and cities, The Guardian reports. Right now they’re just being used at a single intersection in a trial.

“Smartphone use by pedestrians and cyclists is a major problem. Trams in The Hague regularly make an emergency stop because someone looks at their smartphone instead of traffic,” a spokesperson for HIG Traffic Systems said.

The move has however been criticized by the Dutch Traffic Safety Association as they reportedly said it wasn’t a good idea to help mobile phone users look at their phones.

“We don’t want people to use phones when they’re dealing with traffic, even when walking around. People must always look around them, to check if cars are actually stopping at the red signals.”