People can often get distracted when looking at their phones whiles walking on the street. Despite the danger, this often happens while crossing the road. To avoid further dangers, a Dutch town is trying to get the street safer for distracted phone users. The town of Bodegraven in the Netherlands is piloting this new smart city project.
Lights in Sidewalk in Bodegraven
The town of Bodegraven installed the light strip called ¨+ Light Line¨ back in February. The local government installed it at one of the town’s busy intersections that syncs with the traffic lights. This was made possible due to a partnership with HIF Traffic Systems.
According to Mark Hofman, Manager of Marketing and Communications at HIG Traffic Systems
“We all know that the use of smartphones is increasing and people are more often using them on the streets when they walk. What we found out was the number of people injured in traffic has increased in the Netherlands over the year.”
Injuries are often caused by people crossing the roads without checking traffic because they are on their smartphone. Therefore, this smart city project can help the local government protect its citizens. By making use of the +Light Line, the local government of Bodegraven is trialing with a method to make the streets safer for everyone.
How the +Light Line Works
The concept of the +Light Line has been developed for pedestrians that are on their smartphones. Therefore, the concept works very easily. Pedestrians that are on their smartphone are more likely to be looking down at the ground when crossing the street. Therefore, the light is installed on the sidewalk. When the light turns green, the pedestrian is allowed to cross the street. However, whenever the light is red the pedestrian should stop for traffic.
In fact, the use of the +Light Line does not only benefit phone users. The use of the +Light Line is also beneficial for elderly that who look down when they are walking. Especially when they make use of a walking cane. Furthermore, the use of the light strip can also be beneficial for children. Having a light strip on the sidewalk makes it easier for them to see the traffic light.
The +Light Line was initially created to help pedestrians that make use of their smartphones whiles crossing the street. However, in practice, this smart city project can be beneficial for different people within the society. This provides local governments with the opportunity to improve the traffic safety in their city’s. The use of a light strip can help to prevent different accidents in traffic as people will be more alert to the traffic light on the sidewalk. The introduction of the +Light Line in Bodegraven, the Netherlands can be the beginning of a new development. This trial can be the start of a global development.