Denmark has 3D pedestrian crossings.  Will it help reduce accidents?

In the Danish city of Aarhus, 3D-drawn pedestrian crossings have appeared. They look so realistic that it seems to drivers that white blocks have hung over the road and cast a shadow on it.

The 3D transition looks spectacular, but makes drivers slam on the brakes in surprise. Photo: GettyImages

So far, there are only three such innovative pedestrian crossings in the city. Until the end of autumn, they will appear near all schools in the center, as well as on the busiest streets of Aarhus. Drivers really slow down before unusual pedestrian crossings, and cyclists have begun to move more carefully along them.

The authorities intend to observe for two years how three-dimensional pedestrian crossings will affect the statistics of accidents and violations of the speed limit. If the number of accidents is significantly reduced, then innovative crossings will appear in other cities in Denmark.

However, not all motorists are enthusiastic about three-dimensional transitions. Many believe that their appearance on the roads will lead to additional emergencies.

Firstly, some drivers, especially older ones, are frightened by incomprehensible zebras and brake sharply, risking an accident. Secondly, those wishing to take a spectacular photo for social networks began to stop at unusual pedestrian crossings.

Danish drivers are wary of slowing down in front of 3D crossings, but pedestrians are photographed on them

In addition, there is a risk that in a few months drivers will get used to the three-dimensional zebras and will pass them in the same way as before, without stopping. So, by the way, it happened in Iceland, because of which this innovation was not widespread there.

How about us?

In Russia, there has already been a practice of introducing such 3D pedestrian crossings. In 2018, such a “zebra” was painted on the road for the first time in Kazan. However, it did not last long – until the evening. After that, it was removed and a familiar pedestrian crossing was painted for everyone. The fact is that out of habit, drivers, seeing such an installation in front of them, began to slow down, literally sinking the brake pedal to the floor. This could result in a sharp surge in accidents for drivers. There are other ways to keep pedestrians safe.

For example, at one time they began to mount luminous stripes right in the transition, in the asphalt, which duplicated the traffic lights. A man approaches the crossing, and a red light lights up under his feet. But this experiment was also considered unsuccessful, and it was abandoned. The fact is that he encourages those who walk, buried in the screen of their smartphone, not to look around. Why, if everything is shown under your feet.

Here, the inscriptions right at the crossing are just more effective: stop, look to the left. Such inscriptions, by the way, came from London, adjusted only for which way to look. In London, in this way they are trying to protect foreigners who are not accustomed to left-hand traffic from a reckless step.

Literally the latest know-how that began to be applied in some cities of Russia, by the way, in the same Kazan, as well as in some cities of the Moscow region, is smart transitions. They are equipped with cameras, laser illumination and even some kind of intelligence. When a pedestrian approaches such a crossing, this intelligence turns on a beam of light and escorts the pedestrian across the road. In this case, the pedestrian is perfectly visible in the dark, and the movement of the beam attracts the attention of the driver.

More recently, projection transitions have been used. This is when the transition is not drawn on the asphalt with plastic or paint, but is projected onto it. Such transitions also have their advantages. They are not only visible in the dark, they cannot be covered with mud or covered with snow.

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