Belgian city launches ‘text walking lanes’ for smartphone addicts

belgian city launches text walking lanes for smartphone addicts lane belgium
Bored Panda
People’s apparent eagerness to stay connected at all times means we’re seeing more and more folk walking the streets lost in their phones. Well, we would see them if we weren’t staring at our own handsets, right?

The thing is, this growing distraction means many smartphone addicts are risking life and limb as they go about their day, with near misses and collisions occurring at an increasing rate.

In an effort to put phone users on the right track and ease the stress of the disgruntled pedestrians that have to dodge them, a city in Belgium has created several “text walking lanes.”

Following in the footsteps of Washington, DC, and Chongqing in China, the special lanes have been painted onto a number of Antwerp’s busiest shopping streets. While the measure is, in reality, a marketing stunt by local mobile firm Mlab, it’s likely that many in the area wouldn’t mind keeping the markings.

‘Everyone text-walks’

An Mlab spokesperson told Yahoo News, “Everyone text-walks. You probably walk through the streets while texting or sending WhatsApp messages to your friends and don’t really pay attention to your surroundings – only to whatever is happening on your screen.

‘This causes collisions with poles or other pedestrians. You could, unknowingly, even be endangering your own life while you text-walk when you cross the street without looking up.”

Indeed, there have been all manner of stories in recent years of phone addicts walking off piers or into canals.

Research firm Pew said recently that according to U.S. ER data, pedestrian injuries due to handset distraction has risen by 35 percent in the last five years.

Its report points out that in an effort to reduce the number of accidents linked to distracted walking, states such as Utah and New Jersey have experimented with fines for wandering texters who put themselves in hazardous situations. In addition, speed limits were reduced last year in parts of New York City for safety reasons. The move should mean that if a smartphone user does wander into the street without realizing, the driver may be able to take avoiding action instead of mowing them down.

Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.
Mobile

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.