• September 12, 2010
  • Posted by Marc

3D Optical Illusion Painted On Street To Make Drivers Slow Down


“Marking the back to school term, Preventable together with BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation and the District of West Vancouver have launched an optical illusion geared to making drivers slow down at high-risk intersections.

The optical illusion of an illustrated girl chasing a ball has been placed on the road northbound at 22nd street in West Vancouver. There are signs leading up to it saying “you’re probably not expecting kids to run out on the road” to prepare drivers. The installation is meant to draw attention to the risk of children running into the street and was carefully tested before being put in place. It is in place for a few days only and is being monitored as a pilot to ensure pedestrian and driver safety are not risked. The illusion rises up gradually from about 100 feet away as not to surprise drivers, and it fades away by the time a driver approaches.

For more details on how we’re shifting attitudes and raising awareness about preventable injuries, visit http://www.preventable.ca

From the organizers:

  * Preventable, BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, and the District of West Vancouver launched this pilot project as a back to school initiative to raise awareness about more kids on the streets this fall and drivers’ awareness in school zones during the critically important first week of back to school.  This project will exist for one week only to capture drivers’ and pedestrians’ attention.

  * We started in April 2010 with careful consideration and planning that included discussions with the District of West Vancouver, parents, the school board, engineers, and police.

  * The District of West Vancouver engineers have done a full risk assessment of this initiative and are supportive of the concept and its implementation. Their helpful and professional advice led to additional safety measures including additional static and dynamic signage in advance of the image and a police presence.  On-site monitoring of motorist behaviour has since confirmed that there has been absolutely no evidence of abrupt stopping or swerving by motorists.  The police, traffic engineers, parents, and Preventable have been monitoring, and will continue to monitor, traffic around this 3D illusion.

  * The 2D decal gradually appears 3D to drivers approaching the image. A risk assessment of this project shows that drivers do not mistake this image for a real girl and can see the image 100 feet away. The image does not “jump-out” at drivers and there is no “startling effect”, the road conditions on 22nd Street are very good for this project, which is precisely why this location was selected.  Sight lines are perfect northbound along the road and to the cross streets.  Although the community continuously grapples with unsafe driving behaviours in this particular school zone, twenty-second (22nd) Street in West Vancouver has a very good vehicle crash record.  The number of crashes since 1996 (the earliest year for which we have records) is insignificant.  This is was also an important criteria in choosing the site as the best location for the project.

  * Preceding the illusion are clearly marked school zones signs (30 KM maximum speed limit), a cross walk, traffic calming curb extensions in advance of the illusion, and a Preventable signs that read, “You’re probably not expecting kids to run out on the road.” There is also a STOP sign at the end of the block.  All these factors mean that motorists are slowing in anticipation of stopping regardless of the 3D illusion.

  * A public awareness program was started in advance of implementation of this project to inform drivers and the general public of the image.

(via Laughing Squid)