Tech-addicted

New traffic light technology is being trialled in Holland to help combat smartphone users walking in to oncoming traffic.

Scarily, tech-addicted pedestrians will simply walk in to oncoming traffic if they’re too busy with whatever they’re looking at on their phone screen according to Mark Hofman of HIG Traffic Systems who says that “Trams in The Hague regularly make an emergency stop because someone looks at their smartphone instead of traffic.” This caused the firm to develop the +LightLine pedestrian light that puts a brightly coloured LED strip on the floor so that pedestrians using their phones can see the traffic light colour without looking up.

Tech-addicted

It might seem like a lot of time and effort has gone in to this product where the problem seems to lie with the person using the phone, but Kees Oskam, a councillor in Bodegraven-Reeuwijk said that pedestrians being distracted by their phone is on the rise, regardless of the amount of traffic. “We can’t easily reverse this trend, but we want to anticipate it.” That’s why they chose to implement the +LightLine system in the district.

The trial run of the new system aims to see if this will make a significant difference in the amount of fatal and near-fatal traffic accidents at crossings in the district before a possible rollout across the country.

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