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Addressing the popular ‘whatsapp’ or any other application on a mobile device while walking in public is an obvious danger for pedestrians. This is the message that the San Javier City Council is keen to impart on its residents with a series of posters have been placed throughout the municipality.

Jose Miguel Luengo, the councilor of Public services, is promoting the initiative that he hopes will have a great impact on the public. He explains that the aim is "to warn pedestrians of the dangers they face while reading or writing messages on a mobile device without paying necessary attention to the environment and to the traffic.”

"This is a relatively new problem, so at this stage we simply intend to raise awareness to members of the public and make it more evident among the population with these posters," he said. He further clarified that the posters are not an enforcement action, nor are they punishable.

Luengo, a civil engineering graduate, said that although Spain has still to carry out any kind of study into the problem, the United States has shown that 7 percent of all road accidents are caused through misuse of mobile phones or by trips and falls that occur whilst they are in use.

Experts say the danger to a pedestrian who is distracted by a phone, either reading messages, listening to music or just talking, is four times greater. According to a study in the American city of Seattle, 23 percent of all pedestrians use mobile devices while on the move, a figure that is easily extrapolated to any city in Spain.

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