Hit the Brakes with Iceland's 3D Crosswalks

Can 3D crosswalks make roads safer?

In the small Icelandic fishing town of Ísafjörður, local officials are painting optical illusion imagery on crosswalks to encourage vehicles to slow down and prevent road accidents for its approximately 2,600 residents.

The optical illusion comprises a three-dimensional crosswalk painted with the effect of hovering lane markers that look remarkably like floating white zebra stripes. To complete the project, officials secured police and local traffic permits before enlisting Vegmálun GÍH, a road painting company, to paint the roadkill prevention artwork. Now, it is quickly becoming a selfie-inspiring, tourist attraction.

The decision to create 3D crosswalks came after an increase in speed limit surges in its downtown area and residential streets, which have an 18.6-mph (30-km) speed limit.

Now, its one of many 3D road applications going viral to date. Other applications have used crosswalks doubling as roadblocks on an Ahmedabad, India highway and a 2D illusion of a darting toddler by the British Columbia Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation in a Canadian school zone, creating the effect of the image appearing faster, the faster you drive your vehicle.

For now, its intended as an experiment, with no word if this is to be expanded as a regional or larger initiative.