The Japanese city of Yamato has become the first to ban people from walking while scrolling through their smartphones.
According to The Standard, this rule will apply to all foot journeys around Yamato City’s public roads, squares and parks.
While the ban has no consequences for those who break it, it is hoped it will foster a more responsible citizenry.
The act of scrolling might seem benign enough, but injuries related to pedestrians being distracted by their phones has been found to be increasing in different parts of the world.
According to research undertaken by multiple universities, pedestrian injuries have increased dramatically with the proliferation of smartphones.
Unlike cellphones, on which people could talk on the phone, which didn’t engage their sight, smartphone use means most are looking down at their screen while walking and are unable to see oncoming obstacles.
The Japanese mobile company NTT Docomo undertook a study in 2014 that found that pedestrians lost 95% of their field of vision while looking down at their phone.
So even though many may think they can see what is happening around them despite looking down, this is not the case. Many of us are left with only slight peripheral vision, which is not enough to avoid oncoming cars or people.