In the digital age, everyone has a smartphone. And everyone tends to walk around with their head buried in their phone screen, usually not looking where they are going. This has unfortunately led to some people walking into traffic and becoming seriously injured or dying.
Now, one town is trying to prevent these unnecessary deaths from happening by installing a smartphone-friendly traffic signal. It’s similar to a regular traffic signal for pedestrians, which shows a color and lets the person know that they have to stop before crossing the street because it isn’t safe.
The smartphone-friendly traffic signals are actually placed inside the pavement in a little town called Bodegraven in the Netherlands. They emit a colored light to let smartphone users know whether or not to stop at an intersection. The long, thin line is either red for stop, or green for go. The idea is that while people are glancing at their phone screens, they will see the light and remember to wait.
HIG Traffic Systems is the company that created and installed the smartphone traffic signal, and the reason they chose the town of Bodegraven is because that is the town where the business is located. “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,” said a spokesperson for HIG Traffic Systems.
Some people are praising the new traffic signal and others are deeming it unnecessary on the grounds that it justifies people’s need to walk and stare at their phones. Some people believe that more emphasis should be put on not looking at the phone, but right now, this traffic light is a measure to help those who refuse to put the smartphone down and keep them out of traffic.