University gets Thailand’s first mobile phone lane

Bangkok, Oct 22 (IANS) Thailand’s first “mobile phone lane” for pedestrians has been implemented at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University (KU), the media reported on Thursday.

The 500-metre footpath was divided into two lanes to separate phone users from non-users. The initiative, proposed by KU students and sponsored by Toyota Thailand, has been implemented on a trial basis until November 15, The Nation online reported.

The results of the initiative will be assessed by the Performance Management Strategies team to compare the numbers from before and after the dual-lane footpath was implemented.

During the morning rush-hour period, many students are in a hurry to attend classes and their path is blocked by others who text and talk on their cellphones, said Natdanai Adisornpunkul, a third-year marketing major at KU’s Business Administration Faculty. Rushing students resort to walking on the road to get to where they are going, which is dangerous, he said.

After brainstorming and researching for solutions on the Internet, his group came up with the “mobile phone lane” and they called the project “Anyone can change”, Natdanai said. The project comprises the “mobile phone lane” and four warning signs with three mascots to warn students of oncoming traffic while crossing the road.

It was submitted to the Toyota Challenge 2015, which invited university students to come up with marketing ideas to solve on-campus problems.

In September 2014, China’s Chongqing city announced plans to set up a “mobile phone lane” for pedestrians on the footpath of a short section of the downtown road for people with smartphones. The initiative was apparently inspired by a US model in which a similar dual-lane arrangement was created in Washington DC, in July 2014 as part of a televised behavioural experiment.

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