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In Sydney, traffic lights in the ground for smartphone natives


The New South Wales government will install in-ground traffic lights at five pedestrian crossings this year.

Despite countless advertising campaigns discouraging it, texting on the move is not going away. In response, cities have begun to adapt their infrastructure to better suit the ‘Smombies’ — smartphone zombies. Germany is experimenting with traffic lights in the ground at tram stops, and now the Australian government is also installing in-ground traffic lights on a larger scale.

Later this year, lights will be installed at five pedestrian crossings in the Sydney for a six month trial period. The project will cost the New South Wales government AUD 250,000 (USD 185,000) but could help to reverse a huge increase in the number of pedestrian deaths on NSW road, which jumped 50 percent from 2014-2015 to 61 casualties. The lights, which naturally align with a smombie’s eyeline, will turn red when it is dangerous to cross.

Could this system become the norm?


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