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Lightlines are humanity's latest attempt to protect smartphone zombies

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Lightline in city of Bodegraven, NL

The city of Bodegraven in the Netherlands is testing "Plus Lightlines" (+Lichtlijn, in Dutch) to alert distracted smartphone users at road crossings. The pilot project puts an embedded strip of illuminated LEDs in the sidewalk, thus placing it in the line of sight of people staring at their phones. The LEDs turn red or green in sync with the traffic lights, and are visible at day or night. At the moment, they're installed at a single intersection nearby several schools.

Omroep West

"People are increasingly distracted by the smartphone," said town council member Kees Oskam. "The attraction of social media, games, WhatsApp and music is great, and comes at the expense of attention to traffic. As a government, we can not easily reverse this trend, but we can anticipate it."

The pilot was installed by HIG Traffic Systems. HIG's intention is to eventually offer Lightlines to other municipalities should it prove a success.