India is using optical illusions to slow down dangerous drivers.
India has the highest number of road accident deaths in the world. According to the World Health Organisation, over 200,00 people are killed by road accidents due to poor implementation of road safety laws.
Two artists from Gujarat, India, created a design they believe will make crossing the street safer. The speed breakers with a third dimension, but not in physical form, will be put up on roads, to act as virtual speed breakers.
"We are trying out 3D paintings used as virtual speed breakers to avoid unnecessary requirements of speed breakers," Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Twitter a few days ago.
The use of optical illusions as speed breakers was first pioneered in the American city of Philadelphia in 2008, as part of a campaign against speeding motorists. The technique has also been tried out in China to create floating 3D crossings.
In India, cities such as Ahmedabad and Chennai have already experimented with 3D zebra crossings in the last one year. Critics say the main obstacle will be people knowing the bumps are fake once they travel over them the first time. At least in early tests, they seem to be working and the new policy may be just one step towards improving road safety.