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Tenterden councillor calls for illuminated pavements in Kent

By Rachael Woods

Pavements should be illuminated with strips of light so "smartphone zombies" can cross the road more safely, says a town councillor.

The scheme, being trialled at a crossing close to three schools in the Netherlands town of Bodegraven, sparked an enthusiastic reaction from Tenterden councillor Sue Ferguson, who tweeted Kent County Council suggesting it could be introduced in Kent.

She said: “It’s a fabulous idea. Kent County Council and Kent Highways should move with the times and embrace the idea.

Warning lights set in pavements
Warning lights set in pavements

"You see lots of people with their phones glued to their ears walking about and not looking properly and this scheme would improve road safety.”

The Netherlands project involves embedding a strip of illuminated LEDs at the pavement edge, flashing red or green, in the line of sight of a mobile phone user.

Smartphone 'zombie' warning lights
Smartphone 'zombie' warning lights

But the system designed for “smartphone zombies” has been slated by Dutch road safety group VVN for rewarding bad behaviour when people should be paying attention to the road.

According to tech website The Verge safety lights are also being tested at level crossings in the German city of Augsburg.

Cllr Sue Ferguson
Cllr Sue Ferguson

Cllr Ferguson added: “The technology might even help people who are partially sighted to cross the road more safely.”

Kent County Council has so far failed to respond to Cllr Ferguson’s tweet.

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