May 6, 2016

German Pedestrian Red Light Assistance

Distracted smartphone users are alerted when it is safe to cross the road, after a pilot traffic light system was launched in a German city. It embedded rows of LEDs into the pavement. They flash red when the crossing is closed to pedestrians. According to German television station, it became necessary after a 15-year-old girl, who was wearing earbuds and looking at her smartphone, was killed when she stepped in front of a tram.

"We have the additional lamps installed on two crossings that are especially frequented by the relevant target group," said the city's spokesperson.

The first two pavement traffic lights have been installed near the local university. They are aimed particularly at young people and commuters, who tend to be too consumed by their smartphones to look up at the conventional traffic lights system.

US lawmakers take a different approach and seek to ban texting while walking, because distracted walking leads to falls, and 9% "strike a motionless object."