Crosswalks are meant to slow drivers down and make them aware of pedestrians crossing the street. But, far too often, drivers and bikers will zoom through crosswalks. In fact, one study found that a shocking 75 percent of drivers either maintain their same speed or actually speed up when approaching crosswalks, with only a quarter of drivers slowing down or stopping.
In order to combat the issue, one town in Iceland is now using 3-D crosswalks to make them stand out to drivers and slow down speeding cars. Ísafjörður, a small fishing town in Iceland, had the innovative crosswalks installed after Iceland’s environmental commissioner, Ralf Trylla, found out about a similar project New Delhi, India. (Similar 3D crosswalks have also been spotted in Taizhou, China, as well.) The Icelandic town commissioned Vegmálun GÍH, a street-painting company, to paint out a crosswalk that—thanks to an optical illusion—would appear to stand above the street itself.
Whether the 3-D crosswalks improve safety or not has yet to be seen, but similar solutions in China have received praise from pedestrians and drivers alike.
“It is so magical!” one driver told Chinese media site RedNet. “It looks more like a roadblock watching from afar, and I could not help to slow down before I found out it is nothing but a zebra crossing.”
Take a peek below at the awesome crosswalk that’s sprung up in Iceland:
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/szJbz-z7iJw” /]
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), speeding kills about 10,000 people in the United States every year, claiming about as many lives as drunk driving does annually. In 2016 alone, 314 pedestrians were killed in speeding accidents.
“Unlike other crash factors such as alcohol impairment or unbelted occupants, speeding has few negative social consequences associated with it, and does not have a leader campaigning to increase public awareness about the issue at the national level,” Robert Sumwalt, acting chairman of the NTSB, told USA Today in July.
Hopefully innovations like Iceland’s 3-D crosswalk will help make more people aware of the dangers of speeding—and encourage them slow down around pedestrians.