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Heads up: Japanese city bans using smartphones while walking, report says

Advocates of the ban hope it will make pedestrians less oblivious to their surroundings.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown

Yamato City installed multiple signs about the smartphone ban at its railroad station.

Behrouz Mehri/Getty Images
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Japan's Yamato City is prohibiting pedestrians from using smartphones while walking around the neighborhood's public roads, squares and parks, according to a Wednesday report from NDTV. It's reportedly the first ban of its kind to be imposed in Japan. 

There's reportedly no punishment in place if you don't abide by the prohibition. The ban's advocates -- both young and old -- in the suburb said they hope that the action will help highlight the dangers of being distracted by phones, according to the report.

The rule is set to go into effect next week, according to a report from The Japan Times.

Similarly to Yamato City's efforts to quell smartphone addiction and prevent pedestrians from being distracted, South Korea took some high tech steps in the same direction last year. The city of Ilsan installed a system at crosswalks that glows with colorful, flickering lights and laser beams warning people to look up and drivers to slow down.

Watch this: Never mind the occupants, the safest cars will soon protect pedestrians