Installed for the first time in Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, in the western Netherlands, the ‘+ Light line’ was designed specifically for smartphone users with the dangerous tendency of focusing face-down on their phones, often ignoring what is in front of them.
Parallel to the road, the light interacts in tandem with the traffic lights at the intersection, switching between red and green to signal when it is safe to cross.
In a report published on the municipality’s website, HIG Marketing and Communication Manager Mark Hofman reflected on the need to develop the system due to growing safety concerns.
“Smartphone use by pedestrians and cyclists is a major problem… trams in The Hague regularly make an emergency stop because someone on his smartphone looks [down] instead of [at] traffic.” Hofman said.
Town Councilman Kees Oskam views the introduction as a positive development, stating that while completely eliminating smartphones as a distraction is likely impossible, this is a step in the right direction.
“When participating in the traffic to let people distract themselves increasingly on the smartphone. The attraction of social media, games, WhatsApp and music is great and at the expense of attention to traffic. As a government we probably cannot easily reverse this trend, but we want to anticipate it in there.”
Currently only installed in Bodegraven, the company hopes to have the + Light Line system installed throughout other municipalities in the Netherlands in addition to developing other solutions at dangerous intersections.
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