Britain Opens First ‘Slow’ Lane For Pedestrians Who Are On Their Phone While Walking

How phone-obsessed are you? How many times have you seen people walking on pavements with their face buried in their smartphones? Well, to ensure such people do not bump into one another, a ‘slow’ lane has been set up in Manchester for texting pedestrians.

Two adjacent 247-feet long ‘mobile safe lanes’ have been introduced in the Northern city’s Spinningfields area, which is home to offices, bars and restaurants, to illustrate how phone-obsessed society has become. The busy neighbourhood sees tens of thousands of people each week going through it, making the perfect spot for distracted pedestrians to trial the two-way system. However, according to reports, there is a possibility of this being just a PR stunt, given there’s no fine for walking outside the special lanes while texting or scrolling.

The lanes were set up by AO Mobile, who claims that as many as 40% of Brits think authorities should intervene when it comes to walkers distracted by phones. The retailer’s Richard Baxendale said, “We have to be realistic and responsible when it comes to the way society is changing. Our research found Brits being distracted by technology when walking is becoming an issue people want tackled. Our trial slow lane is an important first step that may well be adopted by other cities in the future”.

It is not known yet whether the lanes will become a permanent fixture in Manchester or removed in the coming weeks. It’s also not known if the stunt will be rolled out around the rest of the country. While some may see “slow lanes” as a bizarre idea, the Chinese city of Chongqing has had a smartphone-only lane since 2014.

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