In this Wednesday, March 13, 2019 photo, An Israeli woman walks past embedded LED stoplights at a crosswalk in Tel Aviv, Israel. Tel Aviv has taken its first steps to assist pedestrians distracted by their smartphones by embedding LED stoplights at crosswalks. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israel deploys ‘zombie lights’ for mobile-obsessed walkers

The striped lights on the ground turn green when it is safe to walk

Tel Aviv has taken a small step toward protecting the lives of “smartphone zombies.”

The municipality has installed special LED sidewalk lights at a busy crosswalk to alert distracted pedestrians staring at their phones when they can walk and when they should stop.

Tomer Dror, head of the traffic management division at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, said the “zombie traffic lights” aim to minimize accidents between vehicles and inattentive pedestrians at crosswalks.

“We cannot force them to take their eyes out of the smartphone and into the road. We need to find ways to put the road into their eyes,” he said.

The striped lights turn green when it is safe to walk, and red when pedestrians should halt.

For now, the pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv, but the municipality says it will expand the zombie lights if they prove effective. Similar systems have already been used in Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands.

So far, smartphone-addicted residents seem to be welcoming the lights.

“In my opinion, it’s something amazing,” said Tel Aviv resident Shai Levi. “As someone who is addicted to his phone and is all day long with his head glued on the screen, I think that it can without any hesitation, reduce the number of accidents.”

Haley Danino, another pedestrian, also called it a good idea that will save lives. “But it’s a bit sad, no?” she said. “We all look down all the time.”

READ MORE: No cellphone ban coming to B.C. schools

READ MORE: Quebec man gets four years after sending 30 texts before fatal crash

Audrey Horowitz, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Trail blows late lead, beats Vernon in OT

Owen Ozar’s goal 12 seconds into OT gives Smoke Eaters a 5-4 win over Vipers and 2-0 series lead

Columbia Basin trails to see improvements

The next intake for the Trust’s trails enhancement grant program opens April 4

Beaver Valley Nitehawks oust Nelson Leafs from playoffs

The Nitehawks eliminate number-1 division seed Nelson Leafs from playoffs with Game-6 victory

Trail wins series opener against Vernon

All scoring comes in third period as Smoke Eaters beat Vipers 3-1 in BCHL Interior semifinal opener

Unlock the potential of food, talk to a dietician

March is Nutrition Month; Celebrating dietitians helping Canadians unlock the potential of food

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

National Arts Centre spotlights Indigenous and female artists in upcoming season

Other musical offerings include a salute to Canada’s Indigenous composers

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Kootenay Ice close out WHL tenure in Cranbrook with emotional win

The Ice finished their 21-year run in Cranbrook with a 5-4 win against the Red Deer Rebels on Sunday

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Scientists analyzed beehives in high density urban areas to those off on Galiano Island

Most Read