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Dutch town installs traffic lights on the ground for texting pedestrians

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They were looking down there anyway

pedestrian traffic signal embedded on the ground Edwin Bruining via HIG

The Netherlands is shaping up to become the world leader in street-embedded pedestrian lights. Mere months after the village of Eerbeek installed glowing crosswalks, the town of Bodegraven began a pilot project testing LED traffic signals in the sidewalks. The latest project involves strips of colored lights deployed at the border of the sidewalk and intersection. Glowing green or red, the lights will let pedestrians know when to walk or stop.

The idea is that since the illuminated lines are right in the pavement, they’ll be seen by texting walkers with their heads down. Right now, the LED strips are only being tested at a single intersection, but its designers at local company HIG Traffic Systems see the potential for future expansion.

“The attraction of social media, games, WhatsApp, and music is great and at the expense of attention to traffic,” said local councilor Kees Oskam in a statement. “As a government, we probably can not easily reverse this trend, but we want to anticipate it in there.”

Via: Quartz, HIG