Utah is apparently introducing texting lanes??? This is now becoming ridiculous. Are we struggling that much to lift our heads? This new “culture of walking and texting” is happening whether we are ready or not.
FOBO is a big issue at universities and colleges around the world as teenagers and young adults are the biggest culprits for phone ownership. So Utah Valley University (UVU) is taking it upon themselves to assist with distracted students crashing and has painted a ‘texting lane’ onto one of the staircases at the university. It divides the staircase into three sections – walkers, runners and texters.
Matt Bambrough, creative director at UVU, commented “You have 18-to-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.”
But lets be real though who hasn’t walked into someone around uni while on your phone or had to dodge someone walking and on their phones. The worst is when you are stuck behind a slow walker who is on their phone making you late to class or wherever you have to go.
Utah is the only place doing this though, so maybe we actually need to take this seriously instead of mocking the ridiculousness of this. As phone addiction and ownership continues to grow rapidly, the distracted phone user is potentially a risk to others and themselves. I know I have walked into walls and doors while texting or scrolling through my insta feed.
So should our Australian universities join this new trend or is it just taking it too far?
In a city in Belgium they have created several ‘text walking lanes’ around the city and Chinese city of Chongqing has created China’s first ever ‘mobile phone sidewalks’. One lane is designated for non-mobile users and the other for mobile users. To further improve the structure of the sidewalks, they have split each lane for the different directions.
According to a report by research firm Pew, pedestrian injuries due to handset distraction has increased by 35 percent within the last five years. The report also outlines that other US states have tried to combat ‘text-walkers’ and texting related pedestrian accidents. Utah and New Jersey have tried fines for wandering texters and reducing speed limits in certain areas for safety.
x BL x