VIC To Trial Foot-Level Crossing Lights For People Staring At Their Phones

Are you sick to death of being hit by cars and buses when you’re trying to check Facebook? Buddy, you and me both. 
Thanks to the fact that we have the sum of human knowledge and entertainment jammed into a palm-sized device that we carry with us everywhere, the phenomenon of people being too busy looking at their phones to notice their surroundings is a very real, and it’s causing very real problems. Namely: people walking into traffic.
In the interests of trying to limit the number of people cleaned up by trams while scrolling through Instagram, Melbourne is trialling new pedestrian lights that will keep the ‘walk’ / ‘don’t walk’ signs in the areas in which pedestrians tend to be looking – specifically, straight down.
While this might sound almost like an ‘Onion‘ article, it is absolutely real and not just a metaphor for how much society is changing.
At the cool, cool cost of $100,000, the ground lights are being given a 12-month trial on the corner of Swanston Street and Little Colins street in Melbourne. 
Samantha Cockfield from the Traffic Accident Commission says the lights aren’t just aimed at people on their phones: 
“What we’d like to see out of this is do we actually change pedestrian behaviour, not only those using their phones but all pedestrians because we get a lot of what we call passive crossing.

“People don’t even know that they have crossed against the lights, so they’re just continued on their merry way.

“And they don’t even know they have gone from one side of the road to the other against the lights.”
She added that it’s not just young people either:
“We have observations in other cities have said up to about 50 years old is were we see people being distracted by their phones.”

The trial will monitor how effective it is at changing behaviours to determine whether it would be worthwhile rolling it out more extensively, which Cockfield reckons would be only half as expensive as it was to trial.

For now, maybe just try looking up every now and then.
Source: ABC.
Photo: YouTube.