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New traffic crossing designed to make it easier for people using smartphones divides opinion

New traffic crossing designed to make it easier for people using smartphones divides opinion

There is a new way to signal whether it's safe to cross

It's difficult to get away from the fact that we are now spending more time staring at our screens than ever before.

The reminder is, ironically, drilled back into us in the form of reminders from screen time apps, showing how many hours a day we are glued to our phone.

And some people can't even put them down while walking through the street.

This has become enough of a phenomenon that some places have even introduced a new feature at their pedestrian crossings in an effort to promote road safety. Have a look:

It's all very well staring at your phone when the worst thing you could bump into is another person, but it's something else entirely when it's a double decker bus.

So in an effort to try and make sure that people who are staring at their phones are more aware of their surroundings, some places have added additional lights to their crossings.

And they are exactly where you would expect them to be.

Yes, the lights are indeed embedded into the pavement, meaning they would be situated right by the feet of the people who are waiting to cross the road.

If you're looking up it obviously makes no sense at all, you can still see the green and red figure opposite.

The lights when they're red.
X / @HowThingsWork_

However, if you're staring down at your phone then it could be a useful way to make sure you know when it's safe to step out, without any buses heading down the road.

Nonetheless, the move has prompted a mixed reaction on Twitter. While some people think it's a neat idea, others lament that there is a need for it in the first place.

One person wrote: "This just endorses a negative behaviour in society. Why not fix the people instead of fixing the world around them?"

Another posted: "If you're crossing the road you shouldn't be looking at your phone."

A third replied: "How hard is it to just keep looking at the light until it changes? This is unnecessary…"

Others were more on board with the idea, with one writing: "Definitely interesting and useful! Perhaps can even think about making some way to make it easier for cars to see as well."

It's like something out of Tron.
X / @HowThingsWork_

And another replied: "Feels like it’s a must, without it humans on smart phone auto pilot will walk into traffic."

However, others pointed out that even though it was well-intentioned, it does still have a design flaw.

There's a reason we have a figure walking and not walking for road signs, or indeed the 'WALK' and 'DON'T WALK' signs in the USA. This is if people can't see the difference between red and green.

Simply having a red/green stripe of light doesn't offer any meaningful difference if you can't tell those colours apart.

Nonetheless, the idea could still prove useful, though it may still need some tweaking.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@HowThingsWork

Topics: News, World News, Cars, Phones