The 3-D Zebra Crossings That Are Making India's Roads Safer For Pedestrians


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3-D Zebra crossings create a clever illusion ( Photo Credit: Saumya Pandya Thakkar/ Shakuntala Pandya via Wired)

Zebra crossings — the alternating dark and light stripes on the road surface — are meant to alert drivers that pedestrians may be trying to get across. Unfortunately, they are not very effective. A 1998 study done by the Department of Traffic Planning and Engineering at Sweden’s Lund University, revealed that three out of four drivers maintained the same speed or even accelerated as they were approaching a crossing. Even worse? Only 5% stopped even when they saw someone trying to get across. Now a mother-daughter team in Ahmedabad, India have devised a clever way to get drivers to pay more attention — A zebra crossing with an optical illusion.

Artists Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Shakuntala Pandya were commissioned to paint the crosswalks by IL&FS, an Indian company that manages the highways in Ahmedabad. The corporation was looking for an innovative solution to help the city’s residents to cross the busy accident-prone roads safely. Thakkar and Pandya, who had previously seen images of 3-dimensional zebra crossings that gave drivers the illusion of logs of wood on the streets in Taizhou, China, decided to test if a similar tactic would work in India.

Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Shakuntala Pandya beside their painting (Photo Credit: Fastcoexist)

Sure enough, in the six months that the 3-D crosswalks have been painted across four of the city’s most dangerous highways, there have been no accidents reported! The artists say that while it may appear that the zebra-crossing could cause the drivers to brake suddenly and endanger the vehicles behind, such is not the case. Because of the way the human eye works, the illusion is only visible from a distance. As they get closer, the painting looks just like any other conventional zebra crossing. But since the driver is driving slower, he/she is more likely to stop. The creators hope that their smart design will become increasingly common throughout India and perhaps even the world.


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  • simpl3y_v01d
    simpl3y_v01dTuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:26 am
    nice this is a great idea to stop accident from happening ❤️^﹏^
    • animereina2021
      animereina2021Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 7:59 am
      I love illusions like these! Especially when the technique is used for something important💕 They should do this in America!
      • That guy Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm
        Anyone else gotta do this for school
        • BananaBoiYTWednesday, July 24, 2019 at 4:18 pm
          looks cool
          • Face; the musicMonday, February 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm
            not cool ?
            • Anoymous 1Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 4:43 am
              That is a very nice concept.
              • AlyTuesday, January 22, 2019 at 2:04 pm
                They should do this everywhere!! IN ALL 7 CONTINENTS!!!!!!
                • ?Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 11:05 pm
                  Pls do dis in Pakistan 🇵🇰
                  • JoeMonday, November 5, 2018 at 6:21 am
                    • scat man john Friday, April 27, 2018 at 9:14 am
                      WHAT AN INNOVATIVE IDEA !!!!!!!!!