The first city that I have found that has started to protect this privileged class of easily distracted walkers is Augsburg, Germany. They have installed the first supplemental traffic lights embedded in the ground so that people looking at their smart phones can see the red lights. (Cover photo). This is truly a case where the phone is smarter than the people! But there are other cities looking at protecting the mobile fanatic.
This rather expensive approach to safety is based on a European survey that found that 20 % of pedestrians were distracted by their phones. However, a survey by the University of Washington found that the number is even higher in the United States as 1 in 3 Americans are busy texting or otherwise engaged in some form of phone distraction. But, that begs the question of what is so important as to risk injury or death to keep up with social media or other “critical information”?
It is certainly possible that an urgent or emergency call or text is being received; but, the logical solution is to stop walking and get out of the way of other people and take care of the task. I guess that the operative word here is logical. It is just difficult for me to believe that we are so important that we have to be engaged 100 % of the time.
Now I recognize that this post is probably not politically correct and may offend some readers. But, we have so many ways to become injured or die every day that introducing a new method of masochism seems like stupidity to me. Now I have to get back to watching YouTube…