Road Signs Warn Pedestrians Not To Use Smartphones

Science, IT, Nature

Swedish artists design and erect signs in Stockholm to stop people endangering themselves and others, reports Chris Graham in The Telegraph, UK, on May 27, 2016.

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Noticing that smartphone-addicted pedestrians were putting themselves and others in danger, two Swedish artists decided to design and erect roadsigns in Stockholm urging people to stop staring at their phones while walking in the street.

The road sign, designed by Jacob Sempler and Emil Tiisman, in Stockholm.  Photo: AFP

“I am dependent on social media myself. And one day on my way to work I was almost run over because I was staring at my phone like a sick person,” Jacob Sempler, who created the signs with his colleague Emil Tiisman, told The Local. It hit me then that I’m not the only one with this behaviour and that it ought to be addressed somehow.”

The odd triangular signs, which depict a man and a woman with heads bowed as they stare at their phones, initially caused a stir in the Swedish capital when they first appeared around the city in November. Since then, news of the signs have gradually spread around the world on social media.

The signs are not the first attempt to tackle the issue. In Belgium, Antwerp has given smartphone users their own designated lanes, where they can walk while looking at their mobiles without annoying or endangering others.

Texting walking Antwerp
The white painted lines on the streets of Antwerp designate pathways for those more intent on their screens than paying too much attention to where they are walking. Photo: Mlab/Shutterstock/Rex

Academics at the University of Bath and Texas, US, found that texting causes people to slow their pace and make large, exaggerated movements to negotiate crowds and compensate for their diminished vision – dubbed the ‘protective shuffle’.

Thanks to Marc

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