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City planner: Glue street signs to ground for phone addicts

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 2:25 PM - An international, UK-based government advisor who specializes in transportation says smartphone-addicted pedestrians need sings and lights added to the road to let them know when to stop and go.

He believes it could reduce the number of smartphone-related car incidents.

A more in-depth approach could include adding special walking lanes that could guide "zombie pedestrians" safely through the city.

“If we are thinking about injury prevention and the dominant ‘safe system’ approach used within road safety, there is actually a strong case for redesigning infrastructure over relying on other methods of changing behaviour," Shaun Helman, chief transportation scientist at the UK's Transport Research Library, told The Telegraph.


“Thus, if we are to provide information to people dependent on where they are looking (on the floor, if they are looking at their phone for example), it is vital that this information is placed at points where important decisions need to be made (for example about whether to cross).”

A recent trial in Holland that had LED lights added to the pavement is being called a success.

A number of European cities have expressed interest in a new street system, the Telegraph reports.

A recent study conducted by the UK's Automobile Association found that 70 per cent of of motorists had witnessed a pedestrian step onto the street while using their smartphone.


A recent study by the University of British Columbia has found pedestrians using their smartphones move slower and are less steadier on their feet.

UBC engineers used video to analyze the behaviour of 357 pedestrians at a high-traffic four-way intersection in Kamloops, B.C., over a two-day period.

"This can have applications for safety. They can have less reaction time, they cannot focus on the road, and there are things that need to be done to improve the safety of distracted pedestrians," Tarek Sayed, professor of civil engineering at UBC and a co-author of the study told the CBC.

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