Cities across the world have dedicated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. But a city in northern China has introduced a lane for smartphone addicts - yes, the slow-moving people who are often glued to their screens while being oblivious to the world around them.
A shopping mall in a commercial district in Xian city has built a walking lane exclusive to cellphone addicts, South China Morning Post quotes local media. The pavement - which is 100 metres long and one metre wide - bears signs displaying cellphones and a warning that it is meant "Only for smartphone addicts". To distinguish it from other pavements, the special lane has been painted red, blue and green. The lane runs besides the parking lot of the mall and security guards have been assigned to direct vehicles to go around the special lane to protect the pedestrians.
Interestingly, people are barred from using their cellphones on the other side of the pavement.
But the mall staff said the lane was introduced to remind pedestrians to put their phones away while walking on the road, CGTN quotes Beijing Youth Daily.
Residents interviewed by a local newspaper welcomed the move and said the lane makes it safer for people to walk on the road.
However, on Chinese social media, reactions to the lane ranged from bemusement to ridicule, reported BBC.
The risk of a mishap runs high when pedestrians are glued to their cellphone as there have been several incidents in the past involving people who were busy looking at the screen instead of the road ahead of them.
Earlier this year, a toddler was hit by a car while crossing the road in China. The child's mother barely registered what had happened because she was distracted on her smartphone - just a few feet away. The mother faced severe criticism on social media for being negligent. Fortunately, the child escaped with minor cuts and bruises.
In a similar incident from last year, a biker drove straight into a sinkhole as he was busy on the phone.Click for more trending news