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A German city put traffic lights in the sidewalk

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Texting and walking has never been safer

City of Augsburg

Do you text and walk? Would you like to continue to do so without getting run over by a vehicle, or worse — being berated by an angry man on a bicycle wearing spandex? Well the German city of Augsburg may have found a solution to the problem: traffic lights in the sidewalk.

"It creates a whole new level of attention."

Augsburg officials realized pedestrians were engrossed in their smartphones and not paying attention to traffic lights, so they decided to install traffic lights where smartphone users are typically looking: at the ground. The LED lights flash red when pedestrians should stop walking. "It creates a whole new level of attention," city spokeswoman Stephanie Lermen told N-TV.

With only 284,000 citizens, Augsburg is a small test for the validity of traffic lights in the sidewalk, but if it continues to work there, the application could find its way to bigger cities; and hopefully significantly slow down smartphone-related pedestrian injuries on a larger scale.