A university in Utah has installed special texting lanes for students who walk and use their mobile phones at the same time.
The move comes after reports of injuries, deaths and – worst of all – embarrassment related to pedestrian smartphone use have risen dramatically.
Lawmakers and public safety organizations across the globe have been working for years to raise awareness about the dangers of using a mobile device while travelling on foot. But that hasn’t deterred overenthusiastic texters which has led this university to introduce the separate section to stop hallway gridlock.
In a press release, UVU’s creative director Matt Bambrough said:
You have 18-24-year-olds walking down the hall with smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s something we’re dealing with in this day and age. (Our intention is) to engage our students, to catch their attention and to let them know we are aware of who they are and where they’re coming from.
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) June 16, 2015
Bambrough added that he hopes it gets students laughing, talking and thinking about the issue.
Since photos have emerged of the new texting lanes at UVU, people around the world have voiced their support for the innovative idea and called upon their own schools and cities to introduce a similar feature.
UVU is the first academic institution to create a dedicated walking space for smartphone users, although Washington DC, and cities in China and Belgium have introduced temporary lanes in the past.
As people become increasingly obsessed and reliant on technology, we reckon it’s only a matter of time until texting lanes become a permanent feature in places all over the world.