If you’ve walked outside in the past couple of years, you’ve most likely noticed the growing problem we’re having with people unable to take their eyes off of their smart phones. If you haven’t, then you’re most likely part of the problem. And boy, oh boy, is it a serious matter.
As more and more people are so engaged in texting, updating their social media status, or simply staying connected at all times, governments are forced to spend more and more money on ways to keep them safe – money that comes out of the taxes we’re all paying from working long hours at our jobs.
But this isn’t supposed to be some sort of anti-millennial article, but simply a way to keep people informed of the dangers of texting and walking. A concerning number of fatalities has been reported in the past few years, as more and more people are getting injured because they aren’t paying attention to where they’re going.
This can lead to a whole bunch of situations that are awkward at best and tragic at worst. A few examples of what I mean are as follows: In 2011, a woman from Texas walked head-first into a shopping mall fountain, while in 2015 a man from California almost ran into a bear while he was on his phone.
These are just a couple of examples that ended well, but situations like these can just as often end in tragedy. A teenage girl in Germany found that out herself, as she was hit by a train as she was walking home and paying more attention to her smartphone than to where she was going.
So, in their efforts to stop such easily preventable tragedies, traffic lights were installed in German city sidewalk. The new lights are positioned so that people who text and drive can just look down and know that they shouldn’t cross the road, street, boulevard, and even train tracks. But how much good it actually does is yet unknown.
An anonymous citizen of the German city, after admitting to texting and walking quite often, said that he didn’t even notice the new lights. While this might be the case for a single person, the reality is that the stunt might end up being completely ineffectual. In any case, at least until traffic tickets start pouring in.
Germany has been having a huge problem with people who text and walk. In fact, their problem is so big that they even came up with a new word for people who engage in the dangerous habit – smombies, short for ‘smart phone zombies’. We can only wait and see how their efforts will be rewarded.
Image source: Wikimedia