In a bid to avoid “text walking” collisions, a Belgian city has been provided with dedicated temporary “text walking lanes” for pedestrians who are glued to their mobile phones.
The walkways, marked with white paint and the signage ‘text walking lane’, is the brainchild of a smartphone store in Antwerp city.
The “text walking lanes” are designed to enable those on their phone texting to walk without disrupting regular pedestrians, the BBC reported.
The lanes were created by Mlab, a smartphone company with a mission to stop mobile phone wreckage.
Figures released by mobile operators and associated companies show that there are about 7.5 billion mobiles in the world, compared to a world population estimated to be 7.2 billion by the US Census Bureau, it said.
“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,” said a spokesman for Mlab.
“This causes collisions with poles or other pedestrians. You could, unknowingly, even be endangering your own life while you ‘textwalk’ when you cross the street without looking up,” the spokesman said.
Although the “text walking lanes” are temporary, officials say, there is a possibility they will become permanent.