Texting While Walking? In Belgium They Have Special Pedestrian Lanes For That


Some Belgian roads now have special pedestrian lanes for people who are used to texting while walking.

Instant messaging and texting have come to the rescue of people who want to keep in touch with their friends and family on a regular basis. However, many have taken the texting habit to a different level and have kept on messaging even while walking.

Experts also suggest that texting while walking is dangerous and may result in an accident.

"When texting, you're not as in control with the complex actions of walking," said Dietrich Jehle, professor of emergency medicine at the University at Buffalo. "While talking on the phone is a distraction, texting is much more dangerous because you can't see the path in front of you."

Many people may not get rid of their habit of texting while walking, but Belgium authorities have a way around it.

Some streets in Brussels, the Belgian capital, now have special pedestrian lanes for people who walk while texting. The initiative is a brainchild of MLab, a Brussels-based smartphone lab.

A spokesperson of MLab revealed that, while a number of people do text in this manner, many handsets are also damaged as a result of collisions due to texting while walking.

"You probably walk through the streets while texting or sending Whatsapp messages to your friends and don't really pay attention to your surroundings—only to whatever is happening on your screen," stated MLab. "This causes collisions with poles or other pedestrians. You could, unknowingly, even be endangering your own life while you 'textwalk' when you cross the street without looking up."

The special lanes are in the city's Antwerp area, which is a busy shopping neighborhood. The latest initiative is just temporary but who knows if the special lanes expands to other regions in the city or even other cities in Belgium.

The pedestrian lanes are marked with "CELL PHONES: Walk In This Lane At Your Own Risk," but they are largely ignored by people who are busy messaging or using their phones while walking. Many people believe that the concept is not going to work as people hardly care about their surroundings when they are engrossed with their phones.

Others, however, believe that texting while walking saves time, but others may think it is dumb and could result in an accident.

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