China creates a mobile phone walking zone for texting pedestrians

The city of Chongqing has opened the first ever "texting lane"

Do you constantly trip over your own feet when you’re late home from work and trying to get iPlayer up on your phone to catch the opening minutes of the football? Or are you one of those people who pays more attention to reaching the next level on Angry Birds than to avoiding walking headfirst into lampposts? The outcome can be painful but China has come up with a solution that’s either genius or utterly mad…

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The city of Chongqing has opened the first ever “mobile phone lane”, a 100-foot walkway  designed to decrease the dangers of “zombie pedestrians” who are hooked on their phones.

Nong Cheng, one of the officials responsible for the road markings explained that unprotected texting was dangerous for fellow civilians. He told the South China Morning Post that “there are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here.”

Apparently inspired by an identical project in Washington that was a behavioural experiment for National Geographic, the lanes were designed as a reminder for the public that “it’s best not to play with your phone while walking.”

With “cellphones” painted in one lane where pedestrians are permitted to walk and text “at their own risk” and “no cellphones” painted on the opposite, the safety attempt might not go entirely to plan as one official pointed out how civilians on their phones don’t pay much attention to the road, let alone what lane they’re supposed to be in.

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The UK also came up with its own answer to ‘walk and text’ street casualties. In 2008, lampposts all over Brick Lane in London were wrapped in padding, making it the country’s first “safe text street”, although the padding didn’t last a month…