The Israeli city of Tel Aviv has installed LED sidewalk lights at a busy intersection to grab the attention of “smartphone zombies” who don't look up from their smartphones to cross the street.
The striped LED lights turn green in the crosswalk when it is safe for pedestrians to cross and turn red to direct people to stop, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
“We cannot force them to take their eyes out of the smartphone and into the road,” Tomer Dror, head of traffic management for the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, told the AP. “We need to find ways to put the road into their eyes.”
Dror said he hopes the “zombie traffic lights” will help reduce accidents involving distracted pedestrians.
“In my opinion, it’s something amazing,” Tel Aviv resident Shai Levi told AP. “As someone who is addicted to his phone and is all day long with his head glued on the screen, I think that it can, without any hesitation, reduce the number of accidents.”
The lights have only been installed as a pilot program in one busy intersection, with the hope of expanding the program in the future if it proves successful.
Similar light systems are currently in use in Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands, the AP noted.