Eyes on Your Phone, Not the Road

21st February 2017

As we become increasingly connected to the world around us, putting our smartphones down for any length of time is seemingly impossible for more and more of us – almost to the detriment of our safety.

Stop, Look, Listen, Live

Many will remember the Public Information Film, King of the Road, airing on British television back in 1998 where two hedgehogs safely crossed the road whilst teaching children of the dangers they could face – but with the advent of social media, mobile gaming and text messaging, adults and children alike are becoming engrossed in their phones instead of the world around them.

There is a solution on the horizon, however, as the pavements in one Dutch town have been adorned with special light strips which are linked to the traditional pedestrian traffic lighting system and are designed to be easy to spot whilst your gaze is directed at your phone screen.

Mixed reactions

The system is being trialled at a single crossing in Bodegraven, although a similar system is also being tested in Germany; reaction to the trial hasn’t been wholly positive, however. Jose de Jong from VNN, Holland’s Traffic Safety Association has expressed his concerns over the idea stating that “We don’t want people to use phones when they’re dealing with traffic, even when walking around.”, going on to say “People must always look around them, to check if cars are actually stopping at the red signals.” Only time will tell if this system proves effective – best keep your eyes peeled!