A new type of traffic light has been installed in Zagreb which shines a red light on the sidewalk so that it can be seen by both pedestrians and cyclists who approach the crossing while looking at their mobile phones.
This is the first traffic light of its kind in Croatia and has been installed at the crossing of Frankopanska and prilaz Đure Deželića streets, in the city centre, as part of the Day Without Mobile Phones in Traffic campaign, organisers said on Saturday.
When this traffic light turns red, it is reflected on the sidewalk as well as on mobile phone screens which pedestrians look at instead of at their surroundings. The red light illuminates the sidewalk, as well as the screens of their mobile devices, forcing them to raise their heads, stop and wait for the light to turn green.
A survey conducted as part of the campaign shows that more than 90 percent of drivers, 50 percent of pedestrians and 33 percent of cyclists use mobile phones while crossing the street; while 20 percent do not even notice when the traffic light turns red. The findings also show that drivers' response times while using mobile phones are almost three times slower than normal.
How citizens will react to this novelty will also be explored. The Traffic Signals Institute at the Faculty of Transportation Sciences is conducting research into pedestrian behavior in relation to cellphone use at intersections, and will also measure how traffic lights with horizontal signaling affects pedestrians.
Mobile phones are considered the fourth biggest cause of death in traffic accidents.
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