The city of Salzburg in Austria is implementing some creative measures to protect public safety from oblivious pedestrians staring at their smartphones. The city's Board for Traffic Safety (KFV) expert Martin Pfanner said that nearly 40 percent of the injured pedestrians involved in accidents were injured because they were distracted by a smartphone device.
"...Pedestrians are involved in more accidents in the city than anyone else on the streets - including cyclists, moped drivers, and car drivers."
"Smartphone zombies," as they have been referred to, are a common problem in many highly trafficked areas around the world. Honolulu recently signed a law into effect that will ban pedestrians from looking at their smartphones while crossing the street.
This makes Hawaii's largest city, the first in America to pass a law aimed at reducing injuries and deaths associated with distracted walking.
The KFV in Austria has taken a more novel approach to dealing with the issue of distracted pedestrians by installing large airbags around street-side lampposts that urge pedestrians to stay alert.
They are pretty obvious, even if you have your eyes buried in Snapchat. The bags serve a double purpose.
On the one hand, the airbags themselves may actually protect some people from absentmindedly wandering "smack" into a lamp post. But on the other hand, the messaging on the airbags reinforces the need for pedestrians to stay vigilant while walking the busy streets.
Roughly translated, the airbags read: "Will the next car also be so well padded?"
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How are other countries handling this pedestrian safety concern? Click here to find out more.