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Distracted students: Utah university latest place to introduce texting lanes

utah university latest place to introduce texting lanes uni lane 2
It’s not just shoppers that have to dodge distracted smartphone users wandering all over the place, immersed in their handsets as they knock out another tweet or post a shot on Snapchat.

The problem is apparently big at universities, too, though that’s perhaps hardly surprising considering smartphone ownership among undergraduates must by now be pretty much at saturation point.

utah uni texting lane 1

In a bid to tackle the issue of distracted students crashing into one another as they go about their day, Utah Valley University (UVU) has painted a texting lane onto one of its staircases.

Although focusing on your smartphone rather than navigating a staircase can never be a particularly good idea, Matt Bambrough, creative director at UVU, evidently felt the move was necessary.

“You have 18-to-24 year olds walking down the hall with smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s something we’re dealing with in this day and age,” Bambrough told news outlet Fusion.

Painted onto stairs at the university’s recently opened Student Life and Wellness Center, the markings divide students into three lanes: walkers, runners, and texters.

Although the lanes are primarily part of a design project, some students at the college told Fusion they welcomed the move as so many people crawl along the corridors “with phones in front of their faces,” sometimes making it difficult to get to class on time.

One UVU attendee told Fusion, “They walk into barriers – chairs on the side of the hallway, or railings – I’m sure they’re fairly embarrassed.”

The university’s texting lane is similar to others popping up around the world, possible confirmation that distracted walking is becoming a serious issue as smartphone ownership continues to grow.

While some of the lanes have been introduced with tongue firmly in cheek, they still serve to highlight the problem of distracted walking and remind people to be more careful as they move along the street.

Does your city or neighborhood need some texting lanes? Sound off in the comments below.

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