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A mall in China put in a traffic lane just for people staring at their phones

A mall in China put in a traffic lane just for people staring at their phones
[Photo: rawpixel]

Thanks to a brilliant design decision, no one at the Bairui Plaza shopping mall in Xi’an, China, will ever again get stuck behind a slow walker, blocking the path while they watch a MuchDank video on their phone. Some genius has added a pedestrian lane just for people who can’t stop staring at their phones. (Editor’s note: Don’t forget to mention the time two years ago that I banged my shin into a metal bench because I was so busy checking my Twitter on my iPhone. The bruise didn’t go away for weeks, a reminder of my social media addiction and stupidity.)

According to the New York Times, the new lane of traffic was intended to address the needs of the so-called “heads down tribe,” people who find the world around them so dull that they can’t bear to look up from their phones, even when crossing the street. Their distracted walking is part of a growing number of traffic-related deaths with the World Health Organization estimating that around 68,000 pedestrians are killed every year in China. While there are undoubtedly large-scale solutions to the problem (education campaigns, fines, etc.) the easiest solution might be the one used at the mall: Pedestrian lanes specifically for cellphone users.

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