Belgium designates sidewalk lane for texters

City of Antwerp opens temporary ‘text walking lanes’ to prevent pedestrian collisions

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Belgian city of Antwerp has provided temporary lanes for the city’s pedestrian traffic to text while walking.

The initiative emerged from the efforts of a local phone retailer, Mlab, which realised that a majority of its customers broke their smartphones after colliding due to texting and walking.

A spokesperson for Mlab told Yahoo News that people often “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.”

“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.”

Antwerp’s municipality has allowed the new pedestrian lanes to become a temporary fixture in the city’s shopping districts, and they have caught the attention of a greater audience.

TRTWorld and agencies