New Traffic Lights Are Hitting Australia In The One Place You've Never Seen Them: The Ground

Pedestrians on Phones - 2

If there's one place you shouldn't be looking when crossing a busy street, it's at your phone. And that's exactly why the New South Wales state government is looking to install ground-level traffic lights at key crossings in Sydney, Australia.

The new under-foot, yet familiar green, yellow and red signals will be tested with a six-month trial run starting this December and cost about $180,000. The goal? To protect phone-heavy pedestrians from disrupting traffic and, obviously, injuring themselves or others.

In 2015 alone, 61 pedestrians were killed on NSW roads - a 49 percent increase from the year before.

"Pedestrians are less protected in a road crash, and are therefore more likely to be seriously injured or killed," Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon told Mashable Australia. "This is why we need to create a road system that keeps them safe, and this includes situations when they may not be paying attention."

Similar street-level lights were recently installed in Augsburg, Germany to prevent pedestrians from walking on train tracks.