A Dutch town has installing traffic lights in the pavements, an unusual way of trying to keep smartphone-addicted residents safe.
Bodegraven, in the Netherlands, has put strip lights in the floor at a pedestrian crossing.
It mean that people who stare at their phones all day will see them, preventing them from wandering dangerously into traffic.
Apart from their unusual location, they work just like ordinary traffic lights: Green means go, and red means wait.
The lights are built by HIG Traffic Systems, a company based in the town, which hopes to sell them more widely to other towns and cities.
Right now they’re just being used at a single intersection in a trial.
A spokesperson for the company told Dutch-language site OmroepWest: “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.”
However, the lights have also proved controversial. “It’s not a good idea to help mobile phone users look at their phones,” Dutch Traffic Safety Association employee Jose de Jong reportedly said.
“We don’t want people to use phones when they’re dealing with traffic, even when walking around. People must always look around them, to check if cars are actually stopping at the red signals.”
The traffic light has attracted many comments in social media, including twitter.
Joan Queraltó @joanqueralto reported that, “Dutch town launches traffic light for zombie smartphone users.”
Cédric Moulin @CedricMoulin described it as pragmatic.
Simon Scott @simonjs said health and safety for mobile addicts and reported: “Dutch town launches traffic light for zombie smartphone.”