- Cities around the world are using optical illusion crosswalks to make drivers slow down.
- The painted crosswalks appear to be three-dimensional ramps or blocks.
- India, Iceland, Germany, the UK, China, and the US have started using them, among others.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Road traffic injuries remain one of the leading causes of death around the world, according to the World Health Organisation.
Signs and posted speed limits can warn people to drive carefully, but some countries are taking a creative approach to making roads safer by creating crosswalks that appear three-dimensional. Clever placements of lines and shading on streets can look like raised ramps or blocks, tricking drivers into slowing down.
Here’s how optical illusion crosswalks are helping make roads around the world safer.
A painted crosswalk at St. John’s Wood High Street in Westminster looks like a ramp to oncoming drivers.
Westminster City Council instituted the 3D crosswalk for a year-long trial to see if it would help improve road safety.
The optical illusion works from either direction.
Officials hope that the 3D effect will make drivers think they’re about to go over a ramp and slow down.
In Lianyungang, Jiangsu province of China, pedestrians use a crosswalk that appears to rise off the pavement.
The pattern uses yellow and blue shading to create the illusion.
The “zebra crossing” appears three-dimensional.
Beijing and Shanghai have also begun implementing the pop-up crosswalks.
A crosswalk in Schmalkalden, Germany, looks like it’s floating in midair.
The crosswalk is located in the Walperloh district of central Germany.
It was created by graffiti artist Alexander Frank.
The lines look like blocks of cement, but it’s just paint.
Isafjordur, Iceland, has a 3D crosswalk, too.
The crosswalk was created by Vegamálun GÍH, a road-painting company.
The small fishing town’s narrow residential streets require driving with care.
India was one of the first places to use the optical illusion to slow down drivers.
India’s union minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, tweeted about the plan to use “virtual speed breakers” in 2016.
The cleverly-designed crosswalks can help reduce traffic accidents.
Business Insider’s Chris Weller wrote that painted 3D crosswalks are a “smart solution because they only require small amounts of money to change people’s actions in major ways.“
They have made their way to the US, as well, thanks to two elementary school students.
Two students at Brooks Elementary School in Medford, Massachusetts, worked with the city’s bureaucracy through an organisation called the Center for Citizenship to create the crosswalk.
“Books don’t teach you this,” Medford’s mayor Stephanie Burke told CBS Boston of the students’ efforts.
“Civic engagement is just something you see happen, you see success, and then you try to emulate it and do more,” she said.
- Read more:
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