Concern over headphones

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NOTTS County Council is urging pedestrians to put away mobile gadgets like phones and MP3 players whilst crossing the county’s roads.

The advice comes in the wake of a new US study which says that the number of people suffering serious injury or death while wearing headphones for mobile devices has tripled in six years.

The study says that an increase in the use of headphones while walking in the street has led to a dramatic rise in the number of injuries, with teenagers, men and young adults the most at risk from hurting themselves while distracted.

Last year a national study of 4,000 pedestrians in Britain by insurance company LV= showed that more than half were crossing roads while using a gadget and not paying proper attention to cars.

And one in ten motorists reported having had a near-miss with a so-called “iPedestrian” in the past five years.

A significant number of those observed were so engrossed in their mobile gadget that they were unaware of the direction of traffic at busy junctions, many of them simply following other pedestrians rather than making their own judgement.

Cabinet member for transport and highways Richard Jackson said: “It’s a fact of modern life that more and more pedestrians are using their mobile phones or listening to MP3 players whilst out and about - and unfortunately they can be a distraction.”

“The UK’s roads seem to get busier by the week and pedestrians really do need to have their wits about them at all times.”

Coun Jackson added: “The law says that motorists must pull over before using their mobile phones and for safety’s sake I’d advise pedestrians do something similar and pocket that gadget until they’re in a place where they can use it safely.”