A mother and daughter team of artists are putting safety back in the streets in Ahmedabad, India, by painting zebra crossings that appear to be road blocks thanks to some nifty 3D painting techniques. Commissioned by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited – the company that manages highways in Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat – the two artists used the age-old perspective trick to make the stripes in four crossing locations appear as physical obstacles.

Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Shakuntala Pandya seem to have taken inspiration from a similar project conducted in China in 2008, where brightly colored 3D stripes found success in Taizhou. Drivers have reported being forced to slow down, and pedestrians are happy to finally claim their right of way when crossing the road.

The way the perspective-driven illusion works means that drivers only see the third dimension from a slight distance, dispelling fears that drivers could cause more accidents by suddenly stopping – the closer a car gets to the painted crossing, the more two-dimensional it appears. “So it’s not that dangerous for the drivers, because they can make out that this is just a painting. But the idea is that they pay attention because of the new creations,” said Thakkar to FastCoexist. The pair also confirmed that since the new zebra crossings were painted in January 2016, there have been no reported accidents in the four danger zones they were placed in.

Meanwhile, one Chinese company is already hedging their bets that optical illusions for traffic management will be a trend that keeps on growing, selling read-to-install, self-adhesive sticker versions of the 3D zebra crossing. According to asia-manufacturer.com, these stickers are made from flexible polymers, pigments and micro glass beads and last for up to two years when applied to concrete, asphalt, cement or marble.

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