Progress-Bar Stoplight - Reassuring or dangerous?

Designer Damjan Stankovic claims that logic behind the progress bar around his Eko Stoplight is to enable drivers to turn off their cars at a long light, to save gas. Hmm. I think Gizmodo's John Herrman got it right when he called it "A stoplight for the Progress Bar Generation." It's true, our constant interaction with computers has made us anxious or frustrated when we have to wait for something with no indication of progress. So while this stoplight may soothe our nerves, it may also make the roads a bit more dangerous: people will be more tempted to distract themselves with gadgets, or jump the gun on the green light - hitting those other drivers who play fast and loose with the red lights. A corresponding example is the counting-down crosswalk, but that's actually on the other side of the safety equation: it makes sure pedestrians get out of the intersection before the cars change directions. This one, I'm afraid, is just begging for a drag race!

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