Officials in the town of Bodegraven are running trials of new traffic lights which warn pedestrians staring at their mobile phones that they are about the cross the road.
The new traffic light consists of a led lighting strip in the pavement which officials hope will alert ‘zombies’ who are looking at the road not at traffic.
‘Social media, games, WhatsAp and music are major distractions in traffic,’ said town alderman Kees Oskam. ‘We may not be able to change this trend, but we can anticipate problems.’
The +Lichtlijn, as the traffic light is officially called, is linked to existing traffic lights and changes colour at the same time.
Dutch road safety organisation VVN said it did not think the new lighting would be a solution. ‘What you are doing is rewarding bad behaviour,’ a spokesman said.
The system has been developed by Bodegraven firm HIG Traffic Systems which hopes to sell it to other local authorities.