The modern city-dweller forever has their mind buried in their smartphone and their earbuds tightly squished into their ears, half unaware of the world outside their game of Candy Crush.
In light of this, tram crossings in Augsburg, Germany, have special traffic lights for these “smartphone zombies,” or “sombies” as they’re called in German. The city’s administration recently installed rows of LED lights into the sidewalks of two crossings, which flash red when a tram is approaching.
Le Local reports that Tobias Harms, from the Augsburg city administration, told The Augsburger Allgemeine: “We realized that the normal traffic light isn’t in the line of sight of many pedestrians these days. So we decided to have an additional set of lights – the more we have, the more people are likely to notice them.”
Not everyone in the city is convinced the idea is necessary or worth taxpayers' money. But then again, according to research by the Wall Street Journal, cases of hospitalization from accidents obtained while pedestrians were distracted using their phones increased 10-fold between 2006 and 2014.