We know that smartphones can cause problems. Not necessarily health problems, but problems nonetheless. As long as they’ve been around, they’ve pulled our attention away from what’s in front of us and, in doing so, have caused a fair share of missteps. The addiction everyone jokes about seems pretty legit — and these days, just walking the streets of downtown Manhattan means you’ll have to actively avoid an army of people staring down at their phones.
South Korea recently attempted to nip this problem in the bud and put a program in effect to help their smartphone-focused populace be more aware. The Seoul government unveiled two traffic signs as a part of the program. One sign, “Warning: Using Smartphone While Walking,” aims to illuminate the certainty of pedestrians walking right in front of cars while using smartphones. The other sign, “Walk Safely,” is designed to discourage users from getting lost in their phones while walking on the sidewalk.
The new traffic signs will be installed in five districts (Hongdae, City Hall, Yonsei University, Gangnam Station and Jamsil Station) which the government has identified as areas that have seen high reports of smartphone-related accidents.
It’s a valiant effort by the South Korean government, but, like most street signs, it’s almost expected that these will get shrugged off. Think Dave Chappelle has anymore of those self-sealing bags around?