Some people can't put down their smartphone, not even when crossing the street. And yes, accidents happen because of that. Australia takes the problem of distracted pedestrians very seriously, so Sydney is now having traffic lights installed in pavements to prevent any further unfortunate events.
Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon stated for the 702 ABC Sydney that "the use of phones while walking was now "highly prevalent", and a risk", even though "the exact number of accidents put down to so called "petextrians" is not known."
"The lights are aimed at pedestrians using mobile phones who are not looking where they are walking," he added. Of course, there already are exisiting traffic lights, signs and signals in place, but the texting pedestrians seem to require an additional type of warning in order to cross the road safely. Hopefully, once they see a red light on the street right next to their feet, this will be a good enough indicator for them to know that they are to stop walking.
Normally, one would expect from a grown-up person to understand the traffic rules and abide by them to secure one's own safety and the safety of others. But it seems that in today's texting/browsing generation even the most obvious rules are becoming ambiguous, or better yet - apparently meaningless. The Government was accused of "encouraging bad behaviour from people too lazy to look at traffic lights", but carlon responded by saying that "things have changed".
At first, the efficency of embedded colour-changing lights ion the streets will be monitored during a six-month trial, expected in December. The project will cost approximately $250,000.