South Korea Tested Alarms That Help Pregnant Train Passengers Find Seats


If a pregnant woman has trouble finding a seat on public transit, it's not necessarily because everyone around her is inconsiderate. The same smartphones that make commutes more tolerable can also distract us from noticing when priority passengers step onboard. An effort called The Pink Light campaign tested a possible solution to that problem by installing alarms that detected pregnant riders on South Korean transit, the BBC reports.

For five days, 500 pregnant women in Busan, South Korea were given wireless sensors to attach to their bags or clothing. When they approached priority seating on the city's Busan-Gimhae Light Rail, a pink flashing light was activated via Bluetooth to alert sitting passengers to their presence.

Prioritizing seats for disabled people and pregnant women on the subway isn't just common sense, it's the law. Passengers who don't forfeit their seats to disabled or pregnant riders on the New York City transit system can reportedly face a $50 fine. Despite this, pregnant women are often stuck on their feet. The Pink Light campaign aims to fix this without forcing women into the awkward situation of asking people to move. (But, as the BBC points out, a flashing pink light could possibly be just as embarrassing.)

Busan is now looking to expand the Pink Light initiative to the rest of its public transit system. It's too early to say if it will be successful enough to make its way to the States, so until then, don't forget to keep an eye out for your fellow passengers next time you ride the subway

[h/t BBC]

All images via YouTube.