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This city embedded traffic lights in the sidewalks so that smartphone users donít have to look up
Washington Post ^ | 4/25/2016 | Rick Noack

Posted on 04/25/2016 10:43:06 AM PDT by simpson96

Few nations in the world take red traffic lights more seriously than Germany.

Foreign visitors frequently wonder why crowds of Germans wait for traffic lights to turn green when there are no cars in sight.

That is why officials in the city of Augsburg became concerned when they noticed a new phenomenon: Pedestrians were so busy looking at their smartphones that they were ignoring traffic lights.

The city has attempted to solve that problem by installing new traffic lights embedded in the pavement — so that pedestrians constantly looking down at their phones won't miss them.

"It creates a whole new level of attention," city spokeswoman Stephanie Lermen was quoted as saying. Lermen thinks the money is wisely spent: A recent survey conducted in several European cities, including Berlin, found that almost 20 percent of pedestrians were distracted by their smartphones. Younger people are most likely to risk their safety for a quick look at their Facebook profiles or WhatsApp messages, the survey found.

That problem may be even more widespread in the United States: A survey by the University of Washington found that 1 in 3 Americans is busy texting or working on a smartphone at dangerous road crossings. The Department of Transportation has established a clear connection between such habits and an increase in pedestrian deaths.(snip)

In 2014, the Chinese city of Chongqing made headlines when it experimented with a 165-foot stretch of pavement where pedestrians had to choose between walking on a normal lane and one reserved for smombies -- a portmanteau of "smartphone" and "zombies" used to describe people walking and staring at their devices.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Germany; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: smartphones; trafficlights

1 posted on 04/25/2016 10:43:06 AM PDT by simpson96
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To: simpson96

A simple increase in the amount of Street Furniture would solve the problem.


2 posted on 04/25/2016 10:46:36 AM PDT by moose07 (DMCS (Dit Me Cong San ) - Nah. ...Ermentrude chewed on some more grass and watched....)
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To: simpson96
Foreign visitors frequently wonder why crowds of Germans wait for traffic lights to turn green when there are no cars in sight.

It's that "Following Orders" thing.

3 posted on 04/25/2016 10:47:18 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: simpson96

Bad decision. The better decision is to allow the dumbphoners to walk out into traffic and remove themselves from the gene pool.


4 posted on 04/25/2016 10:49:58 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: simpson96

In our city (probably most large cities) there are intersections downtown with audible feedback from the pedestrian crossing request button fixtures. Done for blind folks. A clicking for one direction, a chirping for the other direction. Simple, tech already exists, and cheaper than putting stupid lights on the pavement that mobile phone users won’t see anyway.


5 posted on 04/25/2016 10:51:27 AM PDT by roadcat
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To: dfwgator

It was beat in hard and at a early age.

Baaaaaa! is now the cry of my once proud ancestors...


6 posted on 04/25/2016 10:55:56 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Boogieman

That would work on a macro basis, but not too well for the individual vehicle drivers who would be involved.


7 posted on 04/25/2016 10:57:11 AM PDT by Bernard (The Road To Hell Is Not Paved With Good Results)
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To: Boogieman

Twice this last week, while driving in a strip mall parking lot, I almost hit 2 different couples because neither one of them even looked before crossing the road in the strip mall. They didn’t have phones in their hands, they just didn’t look and walked right out in front of me.
No wonder people are getting run over everywhere.


8 posted on 04/25/2016 11:01:38 AM PDT by sheana
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To: simpson96

There is a cheaper, more evolutionary yet natural, way to solve the problem.


9 posted on 04/25/2016 11:04:40 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: simpson96

Germany had (or has) little traffic signals for bicyclists—at bicyclists’ eye level. Other countries may have them as well...


10 posted on 04/25/2016 11:19:29 AM PDT by Does so (Vote for Hillary...Stay Home...==8-O)
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To: simpson96

Stupid move. Better to let the idiots with their noses buried in their dumbphones feel the consequences of walking into traffic when they shouldn’t.


11 posted on 04/25/2016 11:29:41 AM PDT by I want the USA back (The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. Orwell.)
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To: simpson96

Fewer will be cleaned out of the gene pool now.


12 posted on 04/25/2016 12:07:16 PM PDT by JimRed (Is it 1776 yet? TERM LIMITS, now and forever! Build the Wall, NOW!)
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To: simpson96

They still should install a light pole right in the middle of the sidewalk. If you’re so busy with your nose in your phone that you can’t see a light, then you’re too busy and inconsiderate to watch out for other pedestrians and cars.


13 posted on 04/25/2016 12:08:20 PM PDT by bgill (CDC site, "We still do not know exactly how people are infected with Ebola")
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To: moose07

“Foreign visitors frequently wonder why crowds of Germans wait for traffic lights to turn green when there are no cars in sight.”

Because Germans follow rules. In return for following the rules, though, Germany is the sort of place where they allow driving at unlimited speeds on the highway (well, some parts of some highways, anyway). Or where you can show up at a very dangerous racetrack and take your personal car around it, as fast as you like - taking all risk and expenses occurred on yourself. There are other examples of this different approach to freedom and responsibility.

I remember driving some German guys back to their hotel in Dartmouth, NS, after the Shearwater air show post-show party, some years back. It was like 3 in the morning, so when I came to an intersection with a red light and absolutely nothing coming, I said “screw it” and pulled right on through. They were aghast, LOL.


14 posted on 04/25/2016 1:22:39 PM PDT by -YYZ- (Strong like bull, smart like tractor.)
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To: -YYZ-
They must have needed therapy after having witnessed such a flagrant disregard for “Orders”. LoL. :)
15 posted on 04/25/2016 1:32:08 PM PDT by moose07 (DMCS (Dit Me Cong San ) - Nah. ...Ermentrude chewed on some more grass and watched....)
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To: bgill
If you’re so busy with your nose in your phone that you can’t see a light, then you’re too busy and inconsiderate to watch out for other pedestrians and cars.

I hear you. It bugs me when people wander all over through the crosswalk with something in their face, expecting other people to divert. One time, I stood my ground as a guy wandered into my path. I put my arms up and he collided into my arms. Stared down his shocked face for a while, then roughly brushed him aside and told him to watch where he's going. I think he got the message to watch where he's going. This stuff with cellphone watching while walking is an epidemic.

16 posted on 04/25/2016 1:45:04 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: simpson96
and when it snows?
17 posted on 04/25/2016 4:31:24 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -w- NO Pity for the LAZY - Luke, 22:36)
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