New Pavement Lights For Smartphone Users In Dutch Town

A town in the Netherlands unveiled special traffic lights built into the pavement to help those glued to their smartphones as they walk down the street.

The town of Bodegraven in the Netherlands installed the traffic lights in the sidewalks in an attempt to make walking safer for those using smartphones, according to KTTV.

The ground-level traffic light system comes as the town noticed an increase of bicycle accidents involving those using smartphones.

"We have observed that people increasingly use their smartphones in traffic and a research has shown that one of five bicycle accidents among the 12-18-year-old teenagers is caused by a smartphone," traffic engineer Dolf Roodenburg told Reuters, according to KTTV. 

The new system is called +Lichtlijn (+Lightline) and features a series of LED lights that alternate between green and red lights, just like traditional traffic lights, CNBC reports. The lights will first be installed in the sidewalks of crosswalks near three schools in the Dutch town.

Councilor of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, Kees Oskam, says the system is intended to offer a solution to distractions, such as mobile gaming and social media. 

"As a government, we probably cannot easily reverse this trend [towards smartphone use], but we want to anticipate it," Oskam said in a press release.

Some have suggested that perhaps people should simply stop looking at their phones while in traffic, but the engineers behind the system say that's an unrealistic expectation.

The Dutch road safety organization VVN criticized the light system, saying it "rewards bad behavior."

The Netherlands has previously taken measures to prevent road accidents, including glow-in-the-dark road markings, which will cut down on the need for streetlights, and on-the-go "charging lanes" for electric vehicles.

Bodegraven is not the first city to install ground-level traffic lights, The Telegraph reports. Augsburg, Germany, installed flashing lights near crosswalks to help guide smartphone users.

A European study found that nearly one in five people uses their phone while crossing the street. 

Sources: KTTVCNBCThe Telegraph / Photo Credit: Horst Rommelman via KTTV

Popular Video