The number of pedestrian deaths is steadily on the rise, as more and more people allow their mobile devices to distract them while walking across dangerous intersections. As smartphone use continues to increase, so do the number of deaths related to pedestrian distraction. In Las Vegas, thousands of people walk the streets and sidewalks every day. The Las Vegas Strip is known for its high concentration of people 24/7. So how can we solve this problem and insure safety?
Pavement Traffic Lights in Germany Show Promise
In Germany, the death of a 15-year-old girl who walked in front of a tram while on her smartphone sparked the idea of placing traffic lights in the pavement. Augsburg took action when officials noticed the high number of pedestrian deaths attributable to smartphone distraction. Germany takes pedestrian safely very seriously and immediately came up with a potential solution for the problem.
City officials installed traffic lights embedded in the pavement so pedestrians can see them even while looking down at their mobile devices. The pavement lights flash red when it’s not safe to walk – making them difficult to miss. When the way is clear for pedestrian traffic, the lights shut off. Just as officials position regular traffic lights to attract driver attention, pavement traffic lights grab the attention of pedestrians looking down – presumably at their mobile devices.
Pedestrians can now use their smartphones while walking, looking at the embedded lights to know when to stop and when it’s safe to walk. Young people are especially at risk of walking into traffic or onto tracks without noticing, as they tend to use smartphones more often than other people do. The pavement traffic lights could hold the answer to lowering the number of pedestrian deaths in Augsburg and beyond.
Pedestrians in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a popular destination for tourists because of the large number of casinos and other attractions. Las Vegas liquor laws permit pedestrians to walk along the Strip with open containers of alcohol, as long as the container isn’t glass. These lax rules encourage pedestrians to walk from bar to bar or casino to casino, drinks in hand, to their next destination.
Despite the large number of pedestrians walking through Las Vegas, they do not have the right of way. Pedestrians who are not on marked crosswalks or at intersections have to yield the right of way to vehicles. It’s the pedestrians’ duty to assume vehicles will not stop to let them pass, not to assume vehicles will stop for passing pedestrians. Despite these rules, many pedestrians walk out into the roadway without paying attention – leading to a high number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions and pedestrian deaths.
Installing pavement traffic lights in Las Vegas could be a viable solution for decreasing the number of pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians distracted by their smartphones while hiring Ubers, checking email, or scrolling through social media sites would be able to see the flashing red lights on the pavement when it’s unsafe to walk. If officials install lights on the Strip, where the most pedestrians are, it could drastically decrease collisions.
Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle-pedestrian accident in Las Vegas, De Castroverde Law Group can help. Our pedestrian injury lawyers specialize in pedestrian traffic laws in Las Vegas and can help you obtain compensation from negligent drivers. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident for texting and walking, we can help defend your position in court. The court will split liability based on the principle of contributory negligence, meaning you could still collect compensation even if you were distracted. Call (702) 222-9999 today to get in touch with an attorney.