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  • Seoul Metropolitan Government Installs “Be Wary of Smart Phone Use While Walking” Signs in Five Areas, Including Gangnam Station

  • SMG 2751

    – The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the National Police Agency (NPA) launch a pilot program in five accident-prone areas full of pedestrians aged 10-30
    – From the 16th, 50 traffic safety signs and 250 pedestrian walk signs will be installed
    – ‘An image for being exposed to danger and phrases’ will be used to raise awareness
    – After monitoring the results, the SMG and the NPA will review whether to install signs permanently,
    – Citizens will participate in smart phone usage street campaigns on the 24th

    The SMG and the NPA will launch a pilot program which puts traffic safety signs and pedestrian walk signs to raise awareness of the danger of using smart phones in five areas, including Hongdae, which are full of pedestrians aged 10 to 30 and fraught with traffic accidents.

    According to the Korean Broadcasting and Communications Committee, smart phone usage rate grew from 3.8% in 2010 to 78.7% in 2015. More than 60% of users said that smart phones are vital more than TV. According to research from the Traffic Safety Organization, the number of pedestrian traffic accidents due to smart phones increased from 437 in 2009 to 1,111 in 2014, a 2.5 fold increased over the last five years.

    Pilot installation will take place in five areas: City Hall, Yonsei University, Hongdae University, Gangnam Station, and Jamsil Station.

    The SMG, along with the NPA, came up with designs and placed them where smart phone users are exposed to traffic accidents. By raising pedestrians’ awareness by using traffic safety signs and pedestrian walk signs, the SMG hopes to prevent accidents.

    The signs are designed to show situations where smart phone users are about to be hit by cars. The signs will also include “Be wary of smart phones while walking” to help pedestrians understand the signs.

    Pedestrian walk signs have “Safety first when walking” to raise awareness of the danger of using smart phones. In addition, given that many pedestrians look down while they walk to look at their smart phones, the signs were made simple but clean.

    Traffic Safety Sign
    Pedestrian Walk Sign


    The SMG will start installing 50 traffic safety signs on traffic lights and street lights in five areas and 250 pedestrian walk signs on pedestrian roads from the Thursday, June 16th.

    The pilot project will be carried out for six months until the end of the year. During that time, the SMG and the NPA will monitor the changes in walking patterns, the number of pedestrian accidents, and citizens’ responses; according to the trial, the pilot signs may become official safety signs after the two organizations review the results.

    In addition, the SMG will hold a street campaign to draw participation from citizens in an effort to raise awareness for not using smart phones while walking at the UPLEX Plaza on Yonseiro at 18:00 on Friday, June 24th. The campaign will start with a flash mob performance where smart phone users bump into each other while walking and using their smart phones.

    Anyone can take part in the campaign and detailed information on the event will be posted on the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/seoulcampaign) or can be found on the Facebook search engine by searching “Be wary of smart phone use while walking.”

    Meanwhile, foreign countries are also suffering from pedestrian smart phone usage to a point where a new word “Smombie”, a compound word of a “smart phone” and a “zombie” has been coined. Other governments are introducing warning signs as well.

    Sweden and the UK put up signs and Belgium installed a designated path for smart phone users. Germany put warning lights on rail lines to prevent pedestrians from walking crossing the tracks.

    Signs (Sweden)
    Designated Path for Smart Phone Users (Belgium)
    Smart Phone Warning Lights (Germany)>


    “I hope that this will serve as an opportunity for citizens to recognize how dangerous it is to use their smart phones while walking. If the project leads to an actual decrease of the number of accidents, we, along with the NPA, will consider ways to designate them as official traffic safety signs,” said Seongman Seo, the Pedestrian Friendly Planner of Seoul.

    1. News coverage instruction
    2. Overseas and domestic examples of smart phone use campaigns for pedestrians

    【Attached 2】

    Overseas and domestic examples of smart phone use campaigns for pedestrians

    Signs (Sweden)
    Sign Boards (UK)
    Road Signs Banning Smart Phones (Belgium)
    Warning Lights for Smart Phone Use (Germany)

    Danger! You are about to fall!

    A big accident from a small screen
    Poster (Gyeongsangnamdo)
    Poster (Japan)