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Safety Improvements for Texters Around the World

Cities are experimenting with safety measures for pedestrians who text while they walk, but the projects could benefit everyone.
May 8, 2016, 11am PDT | Elana Eden
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Joseph Lin

In Germany, the cities of Cologne and Augsburg have installed new traffic lights in the ground next to some rail crossings, for those looking down at their phones. In Munich, some crossings communicate with smartphones through an app.

And at a theme park in China, pedestrians make use of a designated "phone lane."

The impetus for these experiments may be new-fangled, but as a parent points out in The Guardian, Augsburg's ground lights also grab the attention of kids. And buses that announce when they're about to turn, like those piloted in Portland, Seattle and Cleveland, could be helpful to walkers in a variety of situations.

By contrast, an Idaho city took a punitive approach, levying fines of $50 for texting while walking.

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Published on Friday, April 29, 2016 in The Guardian
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