Seoul Metropolitan Government to install signs to curb walking while using smartphone

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The Seoul Metropolitan Government, together with the National Police Agency, will implement a pilot project for installing traffic safety signs and pedestrian signs that alert the danger of using smart phones while walking on the street.

According to Seoul Metropolitan Government website, “The five areas in which the pilot project will be implemented are Hongdae, City Hall, Yonsei University, Gangnam Station, and Jamsil Station, where there are many accidents and pedestrians in their 10-30s, the main users of smart phones.”

The traffic sign is designed to show pedestrians at a glance a dangerous situation in which a smart phone user runs into a car while walking on the street. In order to enhance the understanding, the phrase “Warning: Be careful while using a Smartphone while Walking” will be added to the sign.

In addition, the pedestrian sign has a message that says “Walk Safely.” The message is made simple and clear so that the pedestrians who are mostly looking down at their smart phones can easily see it.

All this comes as no surprise as many people around the world do this but considering South Korea has a population of 50.8 million with the highest smartphone ownership rate worldwide, according to statistics published by Pew Research Center in 2016, it is becoming an issue.

According to Tech Crunch: To prevent accidents, other cities in Asia, in Europe and in the U.S. launched similar initiatives.

In 2013, mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo plastered a yellow warning all over a staircase in Tokyo, reading “Walking while using a smartphone is dangerous.”

German city Augsburg experimented with traffic lights embedded in the sidewalks, designed to be easily detected by people looking down at their smartphones.

Utah Valley University, south of Salt Lake City, introduced a designated lane for texting while walking in its gym.

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