The Korea Communications Commission, the media regulation agency for South Korea, has released a new service to prevent excessive distraction from smartphones in teenage pedestrians.
The new service will be included in the commission’s Cyber Security Zone, a parental monitoring app, and it locks smartphones when the user walks more than five steps.
According to the commission, the service aims to prevent accidents caused by ‘smombies,’ a term formed by combining the words ‘zombies’ and ‘smartphones’ and used to describe distracted pedestrians.
South Korea's Ministry of the Interior and Safety said smartphone-related traffic accidents doubled over the past five years and those aged below 20 were involved in 40% of these accidents.
Most of the accidents happened between 3pm and 5pm, indicating that teenagers returning home from school were the main victims.
"We hope that the anti-smombie service will reduce smartphone-related accidents among teenagers," the commission said, adding it will provide similar services for adults in the future.