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Seoul brings in traffic signs telling smartphone addicts to look up more often

The pilot scheme will warn smartphone users to pay attention to their surroundings.

Image: Shutterstock/Antonio Guillem

PEOPLE IN SEOUL will start seeing traffic signs encouraging them to prevent accidents by taking their eyes off their smartphone.

The pilot scheme will see two different signs installed in five prominent areas like Yonsei University and Gangnam Station to help warn pedestrians of the danger of distracted walking. The idea is being carried out by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the country’s National Police Agency.

The signs are aimed towards younger smartphone users aged within the 10 – 30 age bracket and will tell them to look up from their screens so they avoid an accident.

“The message is made simple and clear so that the pedestrians who are mostly looking down at their smartphones can easily see it,” said the Seoul Metropolitan Government in a statement.

SK signs smartphones The two signs say 'Warning: Using smartphone while walking' (left) and 'Walk Safely (right). Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government

South Korea has one of the highest smartphone owner rates in the world with 88% of the 50.8 million population owning one. The country is also the home of Samsung, one of the biggest players in the global smartphone market.

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The problem of constant smartphone use isn’t a new problem by any means. A Chinese university trialled a ‘mobile phone lane’ to prevent students from bumping into smartphone users while on their way to class, while cities like Belgium, Germany, and China experimented with similar initiatives to get people to look up more often.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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