The crossing, consisting of an optical illusion painting of 3D shapes, complete with shading, is designed to force speeding drivers to slow down by tricking their eyes into thinking there is actually a physical barrier on the road.
Town in Iceland paints 3D zebra crossing to slow down speeding vehicles. pic.twitter.com/JojXlnbkc3— Henry Fraser (@henryfraser0) October 28, 2017
The man behind the idea is Ralf Trylla, Iceland's environmental commissioner. Trylla was inspired to try out the new idea after seeing a similar project in New Delhi, India. With some help from the Icelandic transport authority and Vegmalun GIH, a local company specializing in road surface marking, the idea was turned into a reality. Vegmalun GIH even released a video about the project, which has since gone viral.
Similar projects have been introduced elsewhere in Europe, following on the heels of the Indian example. Earlier this year, Indian media confirmed plans to add dozens more 3D crossings, citing the success of the existing ones in forcing drivers to slow down to pedestrians.
Internet users were blown away by the project, although some asked whether it was safe for the drivers themselves.
But are they really hovering above the cement?! Mind blown. I want these all over Omaha 🙌🏼— Meg Rutledge (@megandmilk) October 27, 2017
I was wondering what their rear-end crash stats are. I could imagine slamming on the brakes when seeing this for the first time.— Amanda L (@Amanda_L_Long) October 27, 2017
Am I the only one who sees the problem with the road itself distracting drivers?— Chris (@FortMax) October 28, 2017
Lol and it's an automatic detector for stoned/ drunk drivers!— Amandia Lawrence (@Amandia1989) October 28, 2017
You know if I'm on my bike I think I could slide right under that as pedestrians walk above, hold my beer!— 🤖 (@ramriot) October 24, 2017
Others pointed out that besides Iceland and India, other countries have been experimenting with this sort of idea for years.
3D zebra crossing in China, a decade ago. pic.twitter.com/DQQzofswD9— Valmik Soni (@valmiksoni) October 28, 2017
In Vancouver they have this pic.twitter.com/fFEKRvWmjH— Valentina Lord- Bachkarova 🎮👻🧙♀️ (@VPestilenZ) September 26, 2017
Whatever the case, the small Icelandic fishing town's snow removal workers will now have to work extra hard to keep the 3D crossing truly 3D during winter.