Road signs and lights should be embedded in the pavement to stop ‘zombie pedestrians’ stepping in front of cars, it has been suggested.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Shaun Helman, head of transport psychology at TRL, said redesigning the country’s streets would have a more constructive impact on road safety than trying to modify the behaviour of those addicted to their screens.
Mr Helman argues that placing important signage where people are looking – on the floor for those staring at their phone screens – could help reduce the number of pedestrian casualties caused by mobile phone distractions.
His suggestions include sticking road signs on the pavement, embedding lights near kerbs or painting guidelines for pedestrians with their eyes locked on their handsets.
Mr Helman said: “If we are thinking about injury prevention and the dominant ‘safe system’ approach used within road safety, there is actually a strong case for redesigning infrastructure over relying on other methods of changing behaviour.
“Thus, if we are to provide information to people dependent on where they are looking, it is vital that this information is placed at points where important decisions need to be made [such as junctions].”
If the Government agrees with Mr Helman, it could see Britain follow the lead of countries such as Holland and China.
After a successful trial by technology firm HIG, six towns and cities in Holland are currently installing LED lights in kerbs at junctions which flash red when it isn’t safe to cross.
In China, some cities have painted designated ‘zombie pedestrian’ lanes for those who fixated on their phones, with arrows to keep them heading in the right direction.