Dutch town installs street-embedded traffic lights for texting pedestrians

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The Dutch town of Bodegraven has come up with a clever new way of keeping phone-obsessed pedestrians safe as they cross the road.

A pilot programme has seen a strip LED traffic signals installed in the pavement that glow red or green, allowing pedestrians to see if it is safe to cross, even if their eyes are glued to their phone screens.

At the moment, the clever system has only been installed at one junction in the town, but manufacturer HIG Traffic Systems hopes there is room for future expansion if the pilot proves successful.

Kees Oskam, a local councillor, said in a statement: "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."

The new pilot follows a similar pedestrian safety initiative that was tested in the Dutch town of Eerbeek.

Here, a pedestrian crossing was installed that utilised illuminated light boxes in the place of traditional light reflecting paint to make it dramatically more visible to motorists.

The light boxes were connected directly to the existing street light system or solar panels, and consumed minimal amounts of power.

The crossing was tested for a 12-month period, during which time it was able to withstand roughly 2.5 million cars crossing over it, as well as a wide range of weather conditions.