The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has created a pilot program at a busy intersection in Tel Aviv to save phone addicts from themselves.
Pedestrians walk around engrossed in their phones, and they can easily and mindlessly walk into traffic while being oblivious to their surroundings.
The intersection is directly across from the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality so it's an ideal location for their pilot project, combined with fact that it's located in a high-traffic area. The concept has already been tested in a few countries around the world, but it's the first of its kind in Israel.
The lights are embedded in the sidewalk, alternate between red and green, and are synchronized with the corresponding traffic lights. It's meant for those who don't follow the sage advice, "Look both ways before crossing the street." Many just cannot tear themselves away from their phones to do so.
Israel: The Sites & Sights tested out this concept to see if it really works. Is it possible to miss the LED lights if you are fully engrossed in your phone, even if you are looking right at the sidewalk? Not likely.
Not only does it feel like someone is shining a light directly in your eyes, one of the main reason it works is that the width of the light is wider than a smartphone. If you miss its glow a few meters away from the intersection, the bright light frames the phone on either side and kind of screams at you and commands your attention, no matter what you are reading or playing on your phone.
Will this be the norm at intersections in Tel Aviv in the future? Perhaps you will just have to look up from your phone to find out—or not!