German City Gets Creative With Traffic Lights

People walking with their heads tilted down at their smart-phones are a familiar sight these days, but to authorities in Augsburg, Germany -- it's too familiar. They became so concerned about pedestrians ignoring traffic signals that they made a drastic move.

The city installed traffic lights where phone-obsessed folks can see them -- embedded right in the pavement!

In a recent survey conducted in several European cities, researchers found that almost 20% of pedestrians were distracted by their smartphones. In the U.S., it's worse. One in three Americans is browsing Facebook or texting a friend at dangerous road crossings.

Some people have called the sidewalk traffic lights a waste of taxpayer money. But city officials maintain it's a move aimed to prevent the injuries that can happen from distracted walking.

Instructional Links

Website Article: TeensHealth, Texting on the Move

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/texting.html

PDF: Office of Compliance, Fast Facts, The Hazards of Using Mobile Devices While Walking

http://www.compliance.gov/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Walking-Hazards-April-2010-Fast-Fact.pdf

PDF: Work Safe, Tool Box Talks, Texting and Walking

http://www.worksafecenter.com/safety-resources/PDF/tutorial/retail/Slips%20and%20Trips%20Texting%20and%20Walking.pdf

Website Article: Augsburg Tourism, Augsburg

http://www.regio-augsburg.de/augsburg-279.html

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