Collisions among pedestrians due to "text walking," or texting while walking, is pretty common in Antwerp, Belgium. Some people have their eyes so glued on their smartphone screens that they don't notice the other person or a pole along their way, causing injuries to the user and breakages on the device.
It might sound like a publicity stunt, but the idea of a "text walking lane" is a solution that Mlab, a smart phone laboratory based in Antwerp, has in mind. The store repairs up to 35,000 smartphones per day, and the majority of the damages were due to text walking collisions.
"You probably 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," a Mlab spokesperson told Yahoo! News.
"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."
The text walking lanes can be found in the city's shopping streets marked with white paint. Pedestrians just have to be careful when walking through the corners. The text walking lanes are temporary, but officials are looking at the possibility of making them permanent if they effectively reduce the number of injuries and broken smartphones, according to The Telegraph.
Belgium is not the first country to designate text walking lanes, although it is the first in Europe. China had a 100-feet long cell phone lane in a theme park. The National Geographic also did a similar initiative in Washington. D.C. last year, but it didn't work well because people ignored the markings "CELL PHONES: Walk In This Lane At Your Own Risk."