Tel Aviv Installs ‘Zombie Traffic Lights’ To Protect Smartphone-Obsessed Pedestrians From Accidents

Tel Aviv Zombie Traffic Lights
A pedestrian uses her smartphone as she crosses a road with newly installed ground-level crosswalk lights, in Tel Aviv, Israel March 14, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Corinna Kern)

Tel Aviv is taking steps to protect its pedestrians from an accident, especially those who are too distracted by smartphones. The city observed that more and more people are crossing the streets with phones in their hands and not looking to where they are going to so the traffic officials came up with a plan of installing the what they call the "zombie traffic lights."

These LED lights were embedded on crosswalks in order to avoid road mishaps involving vehicles and inattentive pedestrians crossing the road. Tomer Dror, the Traffic Management Division chief at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality said that their main goal for the "zombie" spotlights is to lessen traffic mishaps cause by "pedestrians who focused too much on the mobile phone, and less on the traffic around them."

"We cannot force them to take their eyes out of the smartphone and into the road," Dror told the Associated Press. "We need to find ways to put the road into their eyes."

Residents of Tel Aviv also agreed and find this scheme as a great idea and very practical. One citizen named Shai Levi told AP, "In my opinion, it is something amazing. As someone who is addicted to his phone and is all day long with his head glued on the screen, I think that it can without any hesitation, reduce the number of accidents."

The "zombie" traffic lights work by turning green when it is safe for the pedestrians to cross and it turns red if they must stop to allow vehicles to pass through. These are installed on the floors of the pedestrian lanes.

It was said that the "zombie" traffic lights are not yet distributed to the rest of Israel. It is just in Tel Aviv for now because the officials are still observing to see if the project will work in achieving their goal for safe road crossings. In time, it will be expanded once proven to be effective, Fox News reported.

Meanwhile, the "zombie" traffic lights were actually not used in Tel Aviv first. The Netherlands, Singapore, and Australia are already operating the same type of traffic systems for the pedestrians.

Singapore has been using the LED lights on pavements since 2017. As per the Straits Times, the LED strips were installed at the junction of Buyong Road and Orchard Road, and the Victoria Street crossing first. It was tested there for six months before the nation's Land Transport Authority decided to roll them out to other parts of the city.

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