Flashing footpath LEDs can break the ‘smartphone spell’, study shows

Mobile phone distraction is a global road safety concern, but most research and safety campaigns have so far focused on distracted driving. Some jurisdictions worldwide are now trialling footpath warning lights at busy intersections including cities in the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and New Zealand, and also Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. The Brisbane study is the first of its type to evaluate whether or not flashing LED lights at ground level actually caught the attention of pedestrians looking down at their phones. The new QUT study was funded by the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation, and KiwiRail also provided extensive in-kind support for the in-ground LED equipped pedestrian level crossings used in the study.