Smartphone zombies” or “smombies” are pedestrians who walk slowly and without paying attention to their surroundings because they are concentrated on the screens of their smartphones. Every year this causes serious accidents and hundreds of deaths around the world.
To reduce the risk of accidents, the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo has introduced stripes of lights placed in a pedestrian crossing that warn “zombies” whether or not they can cross the sidewalk.
These lights are connected to the traffic light system and change color in a way that is visible to those who are viewing their smartphone screens.
Similar traffic signs have been installed in parts of Europe, Singapore and Australia in recent years.
The first lights of this type have been installed at the intersection of Ibn Gabyrol and David Bloch Streets, near Tel Aviv’s City Hall, and are currently being tested. If proven successful, it will be replicated in streets around the city.
This Israeli innovation has the potential to save hundreds of lives.