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Israel: Tel Aviv tries out new crosswalk lights for cellular addicts

TEL AVIV: Israel`s bustling business capital wants to stop “smartphone zombies” in their tracks.

Tel Aviv has placed ground-level LED light strips, which turn red and green, at a central crosswalk, hoping to catch the attention of pedestrians so engrossed in the mobile devices that they don`t look up before stepping into the road. Similar trials have been carried out in Singapore, Australia and Germany.

Tomer Dror, head of Tel Aviv`s traffic management division, said walkers have been noticing the light strips, which began operating several days ago.

But Alex Shneider, a 32-year-old biologist who crossed the intersection on the green while looking at his phone, said he never saw the signal.

“I was too occupied on the phone itself and I wasn`t paying attention to the light,” he said – after nearly bumping into a Reuters TV cameraman filming at the junction.