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Transportation

Red Lights at Hong Kong Crosswalks Are Helping Phone Zombies Cross the Street

  • City targets pedestrians glued to devices with new stop signal
  • More road deaths are linked to pedestrians disobeying rules
LED lights illuminate a crossing point in Hong Kong in an initiative aimed at reminding pedestrians to stop.

LED lights illuminate a crossing point in Hong Kong in an initiative aimed at reminding pedestrians to stop.

Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg

With pedestrians increasingly glued to their mobile phones and deaths among inattentive jaywalkers rising, Hong Kong is trialing a novel approach to keeping its citizens safe at road crossings.

Instead of just relying on traditional ‘Red Man’ stop signals, authorities have installed LED lights that bathe crossing points in a red glow. The hope is that people gazing down at their devices will see the sidewalk lit up, and be reminded to stop.