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Padded Lampposts Protext Text-Messagers
Status: Hoax
A few weeks ago a story was going around about a street in London where the lampposts had been padded in order to protect text-messaging pedestrians. Neo posted about it in the forum. The story sounded pretty ridiculous, and sure enough it turns out to have been a publicity-stunt hoax. The padding was placed on the lampposts by a pr firm, and it was only there for a day and a half. The Press Gazette reports:

Journalists across the world reported that Britain’s first “safe text” street had been created via the creation of a pilot scheme which could be extended across the country. But locals in Tower Hamlets have said that the padding – put in place by a PR firm working for directory company 118188 – were only on a few lampposts and only there for a day and a half.
Data from a study of more than 1,000 people for 118118 and charity Living Streets was used to claim that 6.5 million people in Britain were injured while sending messages in the last year. And in separate research – based on the amount of complaints the charity had received in the past year – Brick Lane was labelled as the most dangerous street in the country for texting.
The phone directory company said in a press release, written by PR firm Resonate, that “safe text” rubber pads, similar to ones used on rugby posts, were being put on lampposts in the street to minimise harm. It claimed the “trailblazing” scheme would be monitored before it was decided whether to expand it to other parts of the country.

I have to admit, I accepted it as real news when I first saw the story. I should have known better.
Categories: Places, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 18, 2008
Comments (4)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Thank all that is cute and fluffy that this turned out to be a publicity stunt..

I was *seriously* worried there for a moment.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Mar 18, 2008  at  04:38 AM
I concur, thank all that is holy and cheesy that it was a fake.
Posted by N E O  in  Everywhere and nowhere  on  Tue Mar 18, 2008  at  11:06 AM
Personally, I suggest a fully padded world; a rubber room world, covered in duck tape and plastic sheeting, and me as King. Yeah... I like that... King of Rubber World. oooh
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  01:30 AM
The inflated number of injured was my first tip-off that it was a hoax or stunt. Six and a half million injured while sending a text message in just one year? Come on, that would have been noticed long ago and a huge campaign to end the danger would have happened long before this.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  01:15 PM
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