Swedish artist's road signs warn against smartphone usage

By Daniel Uria  |  Nov. 17, 2015 at 4:16 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A Swedish artist is attempting to send a message about smartphone usage by placing several traffic signs, depicting two pedestrians looking down at their smartphones, around the streets of Stockholm.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jacob Sempler realized that he was addicted to his smartphone after nearly being hit by a car while walking down the streets of Stockholm. Now he is looking to spread his message and encourage people to keep their heads up as they walk.

"One day on my way to work I was almost run over because I was staring at my phone like a sick person," he told The Local. "It hit me then that I'm not the only one with this behavior and that it ought to be addressed somehow."

Sempler and his creative partner Emil Tiismann set out to do just that by creating the signs and placing them in various locations around Sweden.

The photos caught the attention of many passers by who ironically shared photos of the signs via social media.

Sempler hinted at this result when he told Tech Insider that he doesn't believe the people he's trying to reach will get to see his signs in person.

"The thing is, though, that the people who really need to see this sign are most likely just gonna pass it with their eyes glued to their screens," he said.

Despite Sempler's good intentions, local traffic authorities stated that since the signs are not official traffic signals they must be taken down.

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