A Chinese city government is expecting texting pedestrians to stay in the textinglanes, after local officials split sidewalks in Chongqing to isolate attentive foot traffic from individuals actively using cell phones.
A quick YouTube search of "walking while texting" will turn up a wealth of footage depicting cell phone addicts fall all over themselves and everything around them to send off a text or find out who mentioned them on Twitter.
Curiously, the cell phone lanes, tagged with the warning "walk in this lane at your own risk," are right beside the roadway. Furthermore, the narrow lines have been given directional flows.
There's a chance the dangerous lanes are actually meant to discourage pedestrians from ambling along with their eyes locked onto their phones. However, several users around the web have relegated Chongqing's cell phone lanes to the status of novelty and tourist attraction.
While distracted driving understandably receives a lot more attention than texting while walking, the Pew Research Center reports that approximately 53 percent of adult cell phone users have either been involved in a collision with another pedestrian or the object of distracted mobile device usage.
Approximately 70 percent of 18 to 24 year olds reported walking into something while using the mobile devices and roughly 51 percent of them ran into someone else, according to Pew Research's report. Age was the biggest factor relating to distracted walking collisions, while other demographic elements, including environment, had negligible impact on the rates at which cell phone users walked into something or someone.
"And although urban residents might be expected to find more opportunities for these unexpected encounters, there are no differences on this question pertaining to urbanity," states Aaron Smith, author at Pew Research. "Cell owners living in urban, suburban, and rural areas are all equally likely to have bumped into someone or something (or to have had someone bump into them) due to cell phone distraction."
Chongqing's new cell phone lanes are only the latest in a in the emerging efforts by municipalities around the world to thwart distracted walking. In July, Washington, D.C., set up fast and slow lanes, separating distracted walkers from those who choose to look where they're going during the entire trip.
Back in May, Taiwan proposed a bill to levy a minimum fine of $10 against distracted walkers who wander out into roadways.
In Fort Lee, N.J., back in 2012, the police department began issuing $85 fines for "careless walking."