German city caters to those who text and walk by placing traffic lights in a unique location

Last month, we told you about proposed legislation in New Jersey that would make it possible for cops to fine someone $50 for texting and walking, or have them tossed in the slammer for 15-days. Other states are following suit. While U.S. lawmakers are trying to pass laws that make a criminal out of those who text while crossing a busy intersection, a city in Germany is taking a different tact by bending over backwards to those who are constantly looking down at their screens.

In the German city of Augsburg, the residents recently mourned the death of a 15-year old girl who was killed by a tram while looking down at her smartphone. Even before that tragedy, it became obvious to everyone in the city that pedestrians were all looking down at their handsets while crossing the street. Instead of passing a law that would make such acts illegal, the city had a better idea. They embedded traffic lights into the pavement by two tram stops. This way, those looking down at their smartphone screens are sure to see the status of the traffic light as they are about to cross an intersection.

This approach is bound to save some lives. New research shows that 20% of pedestrians in major European cities are distracted by their handset as they mosey along the road. The problem in the states is even worse as 33% are texting or working on their smartphone at dangerous intersections. Two years ago, the Chinese city of Chongqing thought that they had a solution to these smombies (a combination of the word smartphone and the word zombies). The city tested the division of a 165 foot stretch of sidewalk into two halves. One would be used for those walking in the normal manner. The other side was reserved for those walking with their heads down, staring at their phones.

Leave it to the U.S. though, to come up with a legislative approach when something more innovative might work better.

source: AugsburgerAllgemeine (translated) via WashingtonPost

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16 Comments

2. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I'm guilty of texting and walking, but not texting and crossing the road...

3. Brewski

Posts: 691; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Not necessarily better. Just different.

4. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2264; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

U.S just copy Germany and your good to go..or embed traffic lights on android devices.

6. andynaija

Posts: 1259; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Why Android devices?

7. FluffyBled unregistered

Providing good solutions instead of just making everything illegal, that's Germany folks!

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Its not a good solution. The best solution is let them die. Why spend money on people who dont care enough about their lives to put the phone down for 10 secs to cross a busy street. Death is what they deserve.

20. andynaija

Posts: 1259; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Lol :'D

21. FluffyBled unregistered

It is a good solution to something they considered an important enough problem, now you and I can complain about whether they deserve it or not, but that would not be relevant!

8. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

US you better learn from your uncle Germany.

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

NO! They need to let them all die.

12. tokuzumi

Posts: 1900; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I usually stand off to the side when I interact with my phone, and try to walk as little as possible. However, if I do walk and text, I'll hold my phone up as close to eye level as possible. It serves two purposes; One, I can see where I'm going. Two, it promotes good posture. Don't want to be hunched over like grandpa.

14. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I'm OK with making it illegal (not with jail time but with traffic violation tickets). Why should money be spent to install extra lights on the sidewalk or to paint lanes on the sidewalk to have one for people walking and looking down on their phone? Make these idiots pay fines for using their phone looking down on it while crossing the street.

15. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Exactly.

19. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Or just let them die. It takes 10 secs to cross a street. If you cant give up 10 secs, to not pay attention to your phone, then you deserve to die.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Time to be cruel. Let's stop trying to save people, who dont give a crap about dying. If your phone is more important to you, that you cant look up for the 10 secs it takes to cross a street, then you deserve to die. It is not the job of the Gov't to spend money trying to fix stupidity. These idiots will still be so engrossed in their phones, they will still get hit. If all stupid people were killed, the world would be a better place. Its called survival of the fittest. Those who aren't fit to live in society and act like they have a bain, need to be dismissed from society. Streets have moving traffic. vehicles cannot stop on a dime. It's YOUR life. Either you care about it or don't. I watched a college student on her phone just a couple days ago. She walked right out into the street, than goodness it was a 4-way stop. So when she got to the middle, one car was about to come through, she decided to turn back. He blew his horn because if he didnt, she would have walked right into it car door. She had nerve to yell at him? I wished it was me. I would have gotten out and knocked the phone on the ground and chewed her ass out. he's trying to protect you and you're gonna scream at him like he's in the wrong. I wished he had knocked her on her ass. I would have stayed and been his witness when the cops came. She's lucky it wasnt me. I wouldnt have blown my horn. I woudl have knocked you down and waited for the cops to come, so I can tell them how stupid you are. These fools and phones. Here in Chicago, our local commuter train is always having delays, because fools on their phones walk out in front of a moving train and get hit. They see one train stopped on the track and walk to cross another and then BOOM! Stupid is as stupid does, and stupid would still be alive if they weren't so stupid. Let them die. If their lives don't mean nothing to them, why spend money trying to save them. We don't need to fine people either. Just let them get killed

22. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Typical America trying to profit by making crimes out of everything possible so the authorities can profit instead of helping to fix the underlying problem. This is what you get in the land of the "free" where all it actually means is the government is free to impose ridiculous laws onto the people.

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