Britain’s ‘Safe Text’ Street Has Padded Lampposts

The Brits are way out in front of us in making the streets safe for people too stupid to use a phone.

Britain’s first ‘Safe Text’ street has been created complete with padded lampposts to protect millions of mobile phone users from getting hurt in street accidents while walking and texting.


Around one in ten careless Brits has suffered a “walk ‘n text” street injury in the past year through collisions with lampposts, bins and other pedestrians. The 6.6million accidents have caused injuries ranging from mild knocks and embarrassing cuts and bruises through to broken noses, cheekbones and even a fractured skull. Almost two thirds – 62 per cent – of Brits concentrate so hard while texting that they lose their peripheral vision, researchers found.

Given the apparent dangers of “unprotected text”, over a quarter of Brits – 27 per cent – are in favour of creating a ‘mobile motorway’ on Britain’s pavements. Texters could follow a brightly coloured line, which which would act like a cycle lane, steering them away from obstacles. And 44 per cent of those surveyed wanted pads placed on lampposts to protect them while texting. The study found that busy city streets were the worst for “walk ‘n text” accidents.

Now, is it “one in ten careless Brits” who suffer these injuries? Or do the one in ten Brits who are careless all suffer injuries?

Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid running into lampposts, trash cans, and pedestrians whilst navigating the streets. Perhaps it’s because I leave my Blackberry in my pocket while walking around?

Via Kate McMillan

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    When my wife and I visited the UK a little over 10 years ago we were amazed to see no guard rails even around obvious serious hazards. My reaction at the time was that it reflected the difference between the state of liability law here and there.

    Apparently, things have changed.

  2. This reminds me of a professor in my building who ran into the divider between double doors coming into my wing of the building, and ended up going to the emergency room. I think he was looking out the window to his left as he was walking down the hall, and then smacked into the divider.

    The divider was never padded, by the way.

    (James may or may not remember the prof and the divider in question, as this happened when he was still at Troy).

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    My best friend in high school became a safety man for the U. S. Army (civilian). His job, among others, was to write up the accidents. One of these days I’ll post his hilariously funny write-up of the case of somebody injuring himself by walking into a support pole.


    The incident in question didn’t happen to take place in springtime, did it?

  4. Chris says:

    Hmmm, this looks more like a publicity thing than a ‘big government gone insane’ thing. The stupid white mattress wrapped around the lamppost has ‘118’ written on it. 118 118 is the number of a privately owned director enquiries line in the UK and their advertising is pretty much ubiquitous on subways, buses, TV, etc as the public director enquiries line was decommissioned a few years ago and a large number of private telecoms companies have moved into a very competitive market.

    This isn’t really that big a deal, and doesn’t say much about the UK (it just looks like an advertising campaign for a premium rate telecoms company).

  5. kenny says:

    As chris says, this is simply an advertising stunt dreamed up to promote a company’s wares. And it seems to have been quite successful…..

    After all brick lane is quite a long street and they apparently have only padded some 10 lampposts.

    I see over at small dead animals they’re too busy shrieking about ‘socialist nanny states’ to note the difference between a stunt by a private company and a government policy……

    Nice to see the Daily Mail continuing it’s traditional role of pushing absolute nonsense as news items.