A Utah university is providing students with a special "texting lane" at its student center for those who can't take their eyes off their smartphones while walking.
Orem's Utah Valley University, which has over 31,000 students, has painted neon green lanes on the stairs of its new Student Life and Wellness Center to designate and divide the area, USA Today reported. The farthest left lane is for walking, the middle lane is for running and the right lane is for texting.
The idea was first hatched by the school's marketing department, which asked students what part of the school needs some improvement. The stairs was one of the popular choices. Often tagged as the "gloomiest" part of the school, the staircases were painted over to appeal to the students.
The school's move, however, may have unexpectedly brought a better solution to texting while walking, especially when there are plenty of reports of injuries, embarrassment and even deaths arising from people who are perpetually distracted by their cellphones, according to CBC News.
"When you have 18- to 24-year-olds walking on campus glued to their smartphones, you're almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it's the nature of the world we live in," said Matt Bambrough, the school's creative director, according to People. "But that isn't the reason we did it - we used that fact 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."
Utah Valley University joins a growing list of sites that have provided special texting lanes for mobile phone users. A Chinese theme park created a texting walkway for its visitors in 2014, which became the inspiration for a social experiment done by National Geographic among pedestrians in Washington D.C., according to NBC News. Belgium also recently unveiled its texting lane as a temporary solution to injuries and broken cellphones, as HNGN reported earlier.