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China

Chinese City Gets 'Smartphone Zombie' Walkway (bbc.com) 55

An anonymous reader shares a report: A city in northern China has introduced a special pedestrian lane on one of its roads, exclusively for slow-walking smartphone users, it's reported. According to the Shaanxi Online News, the pavement along the Yanta Road in Xi'an has now got itself a special lane for "phubbers" -- people who stare at their phones and ignore everything else around them. The lane is painted red, green and blue, and is 80cm wide and 100m long. Pictures of smartphones along the route distinguish it from an ordinary pedestrian lane. Shaanxi Online says that a large shopping mall, which looks onto the street, had been pushing to have the lane for a month. It says that cars often come onto the pavement, which is a busy channel for pedestrians who might not be paying attention to their surroundings. News website The Paper interviewed locals, who welcomed the introduction of the lane. Wei Xiaowei said it was the first time he had seen such a thing and said he thought it was "pretty good." "Everybody walking along here thinks that it's very safe; at the side of the road, there are cars, and the vehicles also come onto here, and sometimes only just avoid you."

Chinese City Gets 'Smartphone Zombie' Walkway

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  • What a time (Score:5, Funny)

    by TJHook3r ( 4699685 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @06:09AM (#56763814)
    ...to be alive! Sometimes I wonder if I'm living in a slightly rubbish cyberpunk novel!
  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @06:22AM (#56763830) Journal
    before it's clogged with electric bikes and scooters, like a lot of sidewalks in China...
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ]3.net ['rld' in gap]> on Monday June 11, 2018 @06:40AM (#56763866) Homepage Journal

      Depends where it is... Electric scooters and rental bikes are everywhere in Fuzhou. I saw a guy riding one, with a woman on the back, and phone in hand. His horn must have been broken because he was using a horn app on his phone to shoo people out of his way as he rode through a shopping centre.

      In Guangzhou they are rare. It's all cars and the pedestrian areas are safe except for phone zombies.

      • Down here on Huanshi East Road and Luhu - right in the heart of Guangzhou - there are plenty of scooters and bikes on the sidewalks. At least that's how it's been these last 7 days...
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I was only there for a few days, maybe I avoided the bad areas.

          • Ahhh... I lived in Shanghai for 6 years, and for the last 6 I've been over here (like now) for 4-5 months each year, 2-4 weeks at a time! Oh well... It's really gotten much more crowded as the economy in GZ has grown even faster (and Dongguan as well, that's a huge boomtown), so it's gotten worse in terms of use of sidewalks and such. This is right in the center of downtown.
            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              I thought that's where we went, down town by the British embassy and north of that around some big shopping centres and the Tesla showroom. Then along by the river too. I'm not very familiar with the place.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    if people can't be bothered to look where they're going and instead are staring at a screen, let nature take its course.

    • Would you say the same if cars just rode up on sidewalks in the US. There was a time in history when this used to happen and we blamed the pedestrians; but we didn't really have curbs then.

      I think that's the real problem for them. They let drivers get up on the side and blame the pedestrians for not paying attention. I guess this special lane is supposed to set the expectation that the walkers won't be blamed.

  • Headline (Score:5, Funny)

    by SCVonSteroids ( 2816091 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @07:00AM (#56763914)

    ... and it leads to a meat grinder.

  • Announce that within 90 days, a new law will go into effect that does the following:

    1. Releases drivers from any civil liability if they take reasonable steps to not hit a pedestrian who violates traffic laws as a result of being on a mobile device.
    2. Makes distracted pedestrians liable for vehicle damage and any emotional trauma that is caused to a driver who hits them in compliance with point #1.
    3. Allows for the felony prosecution of any distracted pedestrian who causes harm to drivers because they swerv

  • I used to read books while walking down the street. (on sidewalks) My attention and peripheral vision was more than sufficient that I never stepped over a curb or walked in front of traffic, but I still had people shout at me out of cars. Because I never jaywalked I know the real problem they had wasn't that I was unsafe but that I seemed unsafe. I think a lot of people are that way with people on cell phones. He's on a cell phone, is he going to walk in front of me? And they project their anxiety onto the
    • by Anonymous Coward

      >I'm responsible for my behavior. If I actually behave unsafely that's on me. Otherwise stop trying to regulate me.

      Until that one time where you step onto the road and a driver can't stop in time not to hit you. Or actually does manage to slam on the brakes fast enough, only to get rear-ended by the guy behind him. Now the driver has to prove to the insurance company that you stepped out onto the road unexpectedly. Good luck with that.

    • Helmet fires (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @09:09AM (#56764320)

      My attention and peripheral vision was more than sufficient that I never stepped over a curb or walked in front of traffic, but I still had people shout at me out of cars.

      What about the people around you who had to needlessly maneuver around you? I don't buy the argument that you were able to adequately pay attention to what was going on around you at all times.

      I think a lot of people are that way with people on cell phones. He's on a cell phone, is he going to walk in front of me? And they project their anxiety onto the other party where it does not belong. I'm responsible for my behavior. If I actually behave unsafely that's on me. Otherwise stop trying to regulate me.

      Your argument might have merit if people were actually good at paying attention to multiple things at once. It's called task saturation [wikipedia.org] though I like the term pilots use which is "helmet fire". It is a FACT that people cannot talk on a phone and give their full attention to other tasks. It sounds simple enough but it actually task saturates most people and they start making mistakes unintentionally. The reason it is dangerous to talk on a cell phone and drive is that your brain physically cannot cope with doing both at the same time. Same thing applies to pedestrians. They literally cannot task switch between talking and navigating fast enough.

  • It keeps the slowest traffic off to the side, and if you trip into somebody walking slowly because they're on their phone, they've got no excuse.
  • In soviet China, zombies phone you!
  • Instead of promoting this, add extra poles so people who aren't watching where they're going walk into them.. People should stop using the smartphone so much out in the public streets, have seen too many accidents already because people walked through red-lights while being busy with their smartphones (and I don't give a rat's ass if they die because of it, just don't be such a moron).

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