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What is the best way to prevent pedestrians, glued to their smartphones, from stepping carelessly into oncoming traffic, falling off train platforms or bumping into each other on the sidewalk?

24 Comments

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24 Comments
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I believe Darwin has a theory that will solve the first two. If they only bumped into each other, no problem; it's when they bump into me that a problem arises. I just bump into them hoping against hope that they'll learn.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

People walking while glued to their cell phones are like some obasans I've come across. They both put their heads down and plow forward in a straight line through the station expecting that others will get out of their way. When I see it coming (for both cases) I stop (several paces before impact) and let them crash or avoid.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese never look up for traffic even without the phone! The problem is not the phone, that`s just a plus. The real problem is that they simply do not care at all of what happen to them or to others. Bycicles never stops at traffic light or at any stop signs almost like stret law and regulations do not apply to bycicles. Taxi drivers drive like they own the streets. Pedestrains never take a look left and right before to across a street. And what is worse is that police care nothing at all about these matters. Police care only enough to hide behind designed spots to only stop people for money, talking about safety when they clearly don't care about it. They only need to make the budgets. And you wonder what to do about smartphone???? Haha! ..I am sorry, but you make me laugh!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yeah, I am kinda of the opinion that the smartphone is just another excuse for not paying attention. It might be a deliberate fumble in the handbag while walking in a crowded station, a need to look right or left at nothing at all or just gazing at the pavement in front, but somehow there seems to be an assumption that others will always be mindful and get out of the way. I think that is part of the irritation we feel. Why should we be courteous, especially when it rarely gets acknowledged, even when it is clear as day. The sarcastic plea for some small gratitude also fails to register.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Either yell harshly at them or let Darwinism run its course

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When I'm on a bicycle, I ring my bell as hard as I could and stare at them, as far as I remember, it never works.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's plain and simple. Our societal attitudes about smartphone use has to change just like the way your mother or father taught you to look both ways before crossing the street. That formed a conditioned response and became a habit. In other words you have to put away your phone when walking especially when crossing a street because smartphone use while walking is dangerous and painfully dumb or unwise.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese are not very sociable people. They will continue to be glued to their smartphones, intently and vividly. Ignoring the real world around them. This problem will never go away. Expect accidents here and there.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm a larger model human, so people on devices, walking into me usually get shunted aside. Some have dropped their phone, a few of which were broken. I also wear earphones so I don't hear their whining, nor do I care.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Prevent? Even a ban would fail. I believe Darwin had the right idea: idiots will be idiots and go the way of idiots leaving more mates, air, food, and water for the rest of us. No need to do anything, nature does the job for us - keeping the gene pool clean shaking off one idiot at a time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sabrage: "I'm a larger model human, so people on devices, walking into me usually get shunted aside. Some have dropped their phone, a few of which were broken. I also wear earphones so I don't hear their whining, nor do I care."

Another advocate of physical assault! Well done! And sorry, but if you KNOW they are going to walk into you and you do nothing but walk into them, too, it's assault. Hope you get caught. Then you'll care enough.

In any case, you do the same thing you do for old men and ladies (or otherwise) crossing the street randomly while staring at the ground, touting their overnight bags on their trollies for the day's shopping, the people who stare at maps while walking (not the app, which by the way is suddenly 'dangerous' because it's on a smart phone), or bank books, newspapers, fish through their bags while walking, look at the sky, or whatever else.

The smart phone is just the current excuse for behaviour that's been around for a LONG time. If someone's going to walk into your or something and you can help it, clear your throat or just flat out say something, same as for anyone not paying attention. If they look like they might fall off tracks or walk into traffic in particular, try and help them to see what they're doing. Don't just body slam into them or watch them walk into danger and snicker if their phones break -- or they are hurt -- because you don't like their behaviour.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Why would you want to prevent them from doing it? I'd just step out of their way (or give them the old hockey hip-check - just kidding on that). BUT, stupid gets as stupid does. Seems to me like a technological culling of the masses.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The law or rule that gives pedestrians automatic right of way no matter what needs to be very publicly and loudly removed. Let the people know that their own carelessness now counts against them, and you may actually see them wake up. Giving them the automatic right of way has done nothing but encourage carelessness, and it shows.

Further to this I have long held that there needs to be a white line drawn down the middle of the pavement anywhere its wide enough for two people to walk by each other without having to turn one's shoulders. Then a law needs to be made that ALL traffic of ALL kinds are required to keep left, and you will have those lines on the pavement to guide pedestrians and bicycles to keep left (and never mind the law against bikes on the sidewalk. Its being ignored and rightly so.). This is because we never needed cell phones for traffic problems in this country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You could install a PIR (passive infra-red) sensor on these phones, but that is probably not enough. Some sort of radar device would be necessary for some (person vs car or train). To keep yourself at a distance from others is quite easy wifi, Bluetooth, and the cellphone signals/sensors.

In stead of autonomous cars Tesla should have made autonomous phones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another advocate of physical assault! Well done! And sorry, but if you KNOW they are going to walk into you and you do nothing but walk into them, too, it's assault. Hope you get caught. Then you'll care enough.

Assault? I think not. Let's not be melodramatic. It's called situational awareness, Smith. I've never used my phone while walking. If I get a text or a call, I get out of the way and use my phone, especially if it's in a crowded location. I always make room for people coming in the opposite direction; however, why the hell should I get out the way for someone so engrossed in their phones that they expect others to get out of their way? If they walk into me, that's their fault, not mine.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If they walk into me, that's their fault, not mine.

So many foreigners on this site claim this happens to them countless times. It's literally never happened to me, not even once. I can't help but think that if this is happening to them countless times, then they have some responsibility in the matter. If it has happened to someone once or twice, well then the person who bumped into them has all the responsibility.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I agree with Strangerland. Look at a crowded situation like a train station you will hardly ever see a collision.

While I don't like Zombies neither would I want them to drop their Keitai and possible breaking them.

Easy to say they deserved it for not paying attention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

...happens to them countless times.

I never said that it has happened to me countless times. It has happened to me at least four times over a period of years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I never said that it has happened to me countless times.

I never said you did.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think its dangerous to be on the move while using the smartphone specially in the stations or streets.

People using smartphone should not be allowed to move. I mean they should stand at 1 place while making or receiving calls, surfing the internet or using any other feature on their smartphones. Wearing headphones while walking is another nuisance. If they are seen walking while using smartphones they should be penalized.

This law, if enforced, would at least reduce the number of accidents and increase safety of such careless smartphone users.

This is a bit similar to banning smoking while walking which seems to be very effective in many metropolitan areas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At what temperature do cell phones burn? Fahrenheit 451? Banning them is the only way. Make them illegal, like guns. Just an idea.

I think this will be last iPhone. Every time I use it, I get the "sign in to iTunes" prompt. And Apple just patented technology that can disable cameras on the iPhone. They say it's main purpose is to stop people recording at live concerts, but what if the police or government uses this? We'd be better off just getting rid of these things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The police should be empowered to confiscate offenders' phones and keep them at a remote facility at least 30 minutes on foot from the nearest rail station, where they will be permitted to reclaim their phones after 72 hours, writing a letter of apology and payment of a 30,000-yen fine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police should be empowered to confiscate offenders' phones and keep them at a remote facility at least 30 minutes on foot from the nearest rail station, where they will be permitted to reclaim their phones after 72 hours, writing a letter of apology and payment of a 30,000-yen fine.

So you're saying that they should confiscate people's phones and fine them, even though they haven't done anything against the law?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Put these people on a cart that uses the same tech as self-driving cars. We are only issued so many brain cells. It would be a shame to overuse them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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