Tel Aviv deploys zombie lights for mobile-obsessed walkers

The pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv for now, but may be expanded if the zombie lights prove effective. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2019
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Tel Aviv deploys zombie lights for mobile-obsessed walkers

  • The aim is to reduce accidents caused by ‘pedestrians that are focused too much on the smartphone, and less on the traffic around them’
  • The pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv for now

TEL AVIV: Tel Aviv has taken its first steps toward assisting pedestrians distracted by their smartphones by embedding LED stoplights at crosswalks.
The municipality installed the “zombie traffic lights” Monday aiming to minimize accidents between vehicles and inattentive pedestrians at crosswalks.
Tomer Dror, head of Traffic Management Division at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, says the aim is to reduce accidents caused by “pedestrians that are focused too much on the smartphone, and less on the traffic around them.”
Dror says the idea is to “put the road into their eyes.”
Similar systems have already been used in Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands.
For now, the pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv, but the municipality says it will expand the zombie lights if it proves effective.


Banned Egyptian singer appeals to president

Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab
Updated 27 sec ago
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Banned Egyptian singer appeals to president

  • Hossam Habib said that Sherine will not appear before the investigation on Wednesday because she had not done anything to deserve it

CAIRO: In her first media appearance since her singing ban, Sherine Abdel Wahab broke down and appealed to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after the Syndicate of Musical Professions banned her from working while they investigate her for allegedly abusing Egypt’s reputation.
Lawyer Samir Sabri filed a complaint against the Egyptian performer and said that she had used festivals and foreign parties to speak ill of the country.
He explained in his statement that he also attached a CD containing what was said by Sherine in a concert in Bahrain.
“Egypt is working to restore its global cultural role as well as organize international festivals and conferences to encourage investments. It is known that art plays an effective role and as an artist as ambassador to this country, Sherine Abdel Wahab presented Egypt in a low-profile manner during a concert in Bahrain. During the concert, she said ‘Now I can speak in comfort, for if I did in Egypt, I’d go to prison.’“
Sherine apologized during her telephone conversation with a famous talk show about the incident on March 14.
She said that she did not mean freedom of expression, but that there are people who are “waiting for her to make a mistake.”
The Syndicate of Music Professions especially did not defend her, and instead quickly issued a ban on her working.
Dr. Hossam Lotfi, Sherine’s lawyer, stressed in statements to Arab News that what his client is accused of was taken out of context by those waiting for her to make a mistake, which is unacceptable.
He added there is no doubt about her love and her loyalty to the country, and her appreciation for all the efforts made by her government and its president to push Egypt to the position it deserves in the Arab world and internationally.
He argued that the lawyer who brought the suit was known for always filing suits against well-known figures in society, purely motivated by increasing his fame.
The board of directors of the Syndicate of Music Professions, headed by artist Hani Shaker, decided to ban Sherine from singing and investigate her on March 27.
“The decision to stop Sherine was only made after the union received numerous complaints from Egyptians at home and abroad, which is detrimental to the national security of Egypt,” Tariq Mortada, legal adviser to the union, told Arab News.
“Sherine has said a number of abusive things before, including when she said in jest: ‘Drink natural water so you do not get schistosomiasis, in reference to when someone asked her to sing her song Mashrebtesh Men Nilha.’“
Mortada said that the issue of insulting Egypt has taken its course in the Egyptian courts.
He said Sherine is a great star and a very important artist, but she harms her talent when she speaks inappropriately of Egypt.
On the other hand, the Egyptian artist Hossam Habib — husband of Sherine — expressed in press statements his deep sadness at the decision of the syndicate stopping his wife from singing.
He said that Sherine will not appear before the investigation on Wednesday because she had not done anything to deserve it.