Today: Saturday, 4 July 2020 year

Japan: Yamato city aims to ban phone use while walking

Japan: Yamato city aims to ban phone use while walking

The Japanese city’s authorities are going to introduce a new ban regarding mobile phones. Yamato city, near Tokyo, has submitted a bill to the city assembly to stop people from using their smartphones while walking.

The multitasking is not a good idea when it is about walking and using the smartphones at the same time, say the authorities of Yamato city. It is a scene repeated the world over: pedestrians glued to their gadgets while walking, causing collisions and sometimes even the accidents.

Officials in Yamato city decided to prevent such incidents, they want to make the streets safe for the pedestrians. The new bill has introduced on Monday becomes the first of its kind in Japan. The prohibition adding that if passed it would be the first such ban in Japan.

«The number of people using smartphones has rapidly increased and so have the number of accidents» in the densely populated area, city official Masaaki Yasumi says.

Commenting on the bill, Mr Yasumi said there will be no punishment for those unable to tear themselves away from their screens in the street. «We hope the ban will raise more awareness about the dangers,» he said.

Posters and messages will inform citizens of the rule, expected to take effect from next month.

The Japanese pedestrians are vulnerable due to their mobile phones while walking

The number of accidents between people using phones while riding a bicycle and pedestrians is also increasing in Japan, the research by Japanese mobile giant NTT Docomo reports. In 2014, it estimated a pedestrian’s average field of vision while staring down at a smartphone is five per cent of what our eyes take in normally.

The firm ran a computer simulation of what would occur if 1,500 people used the hectic Shibuya pedestrian crossing in Tokyo while all looking at their smartphones.

The results showed that two-thirds would not make it to the other side without incident, with 446 collisions, 103 people being knocked down and 21 dropping their phones.

In some cases, victims’ families demand up to 100 million yen (S$1.3 million) in compensation.