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Australia tests out putting crossing signals where you're really looking: down

The government is reportedly experimenting with ground-level semaphores for pedestrians who stare at their phones while crossing the street.


Staring at your phone screen all day is a fact of life, and the Australian government knows it.

Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Screen-staring pedestrians aren't looking at traffic lights as they cross the street; they're very likely looking down, glued to their phones. That's why Australia's government is experimenting with installing ground-level semaphores at key downtown Sydney crossings, according to Mashable, which will make the green, yellow, and most importantly, red, lights easier for the phone-focused to see without lifting their heads.

Other traffic signals aren't going anywhere; the new trial lights will complement road signs that already exist. But now, some signals will be closer to eye level for people whose peepers are looking down at a screen.

The Australian government is reportedly pouring AU$250,000 into the initiative, or about $181,272 and £125,830 pounds, all in the name of curbing accidents and keeping citizens safe. The city of Augsburg, Germany launched a similar program this past April.

New South Wales state government's Centre for Road Safety didn't immediately respond to an email attempting to confirm details of the report.