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Traffic light in Zagreb warning pedestrians staring at mobile phones

It is the first one of its kind in Croatia
  • lørdag d. 19. oktober 2019, 20.00
  • Author Monika Dimitrova
Medium traffic lights

An innovative traffic light designed for pedestrians and cyclists using zebra crossings who are looking at the screens of their mobile phones has been installed in Zagreb. It is the first one of its kind traffic light in Croatia.

The traffic light, which sheds light onto the sidewalk, was installed at the intersection of Frankopanska and Gjura Deželić near the Croatian National Theatre. The initiative is part of the “Day without mobile phones campaign”. The aim of this pilot project is to alert pedestrians and cyclists of the dangers they face.

A similar initiative was introduced by the Italian city of Turin some months ago - a phone notification saves lives by warning pedestrians of red traffic lights.

Some important data

According to a recent survey, 50% of pedestrians and 33% of cyclists use mobile phones while crossing roads, and 20% of them don’t even notice that the traffic light is red, because their eyes are fixated on the screens of their phones.   

The innovative traffic light serves primarily a warning function. When a red light comes on at the pedestrian crossing, it projects the same towards the sidewalk, where it lands squarely on the screen of the mobile phone. The screens on the phones turn red alerting users to stop.

The project is implemented by the Faculty of Transportation Sciences, whose Traffic Signing Institute has researched pedestrian behaviour in relation to mobile phone use when crossing intersections.

Starting at mobile phones is considered to be the fourth most common cause of deaths on the road, and according to a surveys conducted by the project, as many as 91% of drivers, 33% of cyclists and 50% of pedestrians use mobile phones in traffic.

How citizens of Zagreb will react to the new traffic light also will be explored as part of the project. The team behind the idea will determine whether and to what degree horizontal traffic lights are impacting pedestrians. 

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