This German city has put traffic lights in the ground so phone users can cross the road without looking up


Looking both ways before you cross the road is one of the most important lessons you learn as a child.

In a German city, however, that rule has been thrown out of the window. In fact, it's probably better to keep your eyes on the ground.

Authorities in the city of Augsburg have installed "traffic lights" in the pavement at some intersections, primarily to protect mobile phone users.

Apparently pedestrians have been so busy looking at their phones that they have been ignoring traffic lights, which has resulted in injuries.

We've all seen or been a "smombie" - a smart phone zombie - who walks along the footpath without taking care of what or who is in front of us.

It's not the first time a city has taken such a step after "cellphone lanes" were created for pedestrians a couple of years ago in south-west China's Chongqing Municipality.

Mobile phone lanes in China

Failing to look up when you're crossing the road seems to be taking that to the extreme though.

Augsburg does have a network of quiet electric trams, and the lights have been installed at stops, where commuters are apparently most at risk.

If ever we needed proof that technology is dumbing the senses this might be it.