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Speed Bump: optical illusion of a child

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posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:52 PM

Officials in West Vancouver, Canada, apparently aren't satisfied with the driver-slowing properties of traditional speed bumps. On Tuesday, the town unveiled a new way to persuade motorists to ease off the gas pedal in the vicinity of the École Pauline Johnson Elementary School: a 2-D image of a child playing, creating the illusion that the approaching driver will soon blast into a child.

When you get to about 100 feet of the painting on the pavement the image becomes 3-D and appears to rise up giving the impression there is a girl playing with a ball in the street

This is cool, at least you won't tear your car up hitting a real speed bump, because it supposedly makes you think there is a girl playing with a ball in the street.

I wonder if it really looks real?
I wonder if this is a good idea? I think it is..


posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:54 PM
The trouble is once you have driven over it once it kind of looses it's shock effect, and becomes just another road sign.

It's a pretty cool bit of street art though, maybe they could swap it for a 3d Moose then you would really think about slamming on the breaks

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:13 PM
Hey there, yes, the optical illusion is a lost cause; it loses its effect after seeing it a few times, so when people become desensitized, they don't slow down when the real event happens. This was shared today as well and was exactly my thought when I first saw the optical illusion in the news media. What a way to prevent accidents...NOT!!

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:26 PM
reply to post by gardCanada

Here's the blog's I've heard pointing to the dangers of the optical illusion:

Now some of the comments I've read in onther reports point to the same thing:
"Playing with people’s reactions while they’re sitting in a 2500 pound moving projectile of steel and glass isn’t very wise. It’s an unwarranted added distraction that puts real kids lives in extra danger for a variety of reasons stated. Never mind the creepiness factor of running over these things on a daily basis. Or the expense of constantly repainting them after vandals add extra…ahem…’appendages’ or ‘clothing options’, etc.

And the sad truth is that yes, there are alot of people on the road today who shouldn’t be driving. This is not the most responsible way to discover who those people are.

I just watched the video on their website. The effect is cool enough. And I think the ‘panic swerve into pedestrians’ scenario is unlikely (unless you’re bombing down the road at unsafe speeds already, in which case this image *is* a significant risk). But the desensitization factor of this will conversely be enormous. Seeing a kid on the road and having been trained through hundreds of ‘fake’ drive-overs, you might *not* slow down that split second needed to safely determine if this is just another visual trick. Don’t assume people will *always* slow down for any visual cue. As mentioned, after hundreds of ‘false alarms’, human nature will kick in and the results could be tragic."

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:30 PM
From the source article:

You have to wonder if the designers of the "speed bump of the future" considered that drivers might become conditioned to disregard Pavement Patty and her imaginary cohorts, creating something similar to a "boy who cried wolf" effect. Couldn't such conditioning reduce drivers' caution if a real child should cross their path?

Asked whether confusing and/or tricking drivers with such images might create such unintended hazards, David Dunne of the British Columbia Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation said that pedestrians need to be just as alert as drivers.

I love it; they say it could desensitise drivers to kids in the road but, then say that pedestrians need to be careful as well.

Nice way to pass off all the responsibility for bad driving on the pedestrians.

These could also cause rear-end accidents when the driver in front suddenly slams on his breaks when a child suddenly pops up out of the road from nowhere in front of him.

It's a neat optical illusion but, it looks to me that it will make things more dangerous for pedestrians and other drivers in the long run.

edit on 9/8/10 by FortAnthem because: That's just how I roll

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:50 PM
I love the 3D sidewalk art that some artists are doing. Check out this website for some amazing pieces:

As far as this speed bump, I think it's an awesome idea. I have always hated speedbumps.

Here are some of the best:









edit on 8-9-2010 by airspoon because: Added photos

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:52 PM

Just keep going mom....

Lol I can see the jokes already.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:01 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

Maybe we should start putting "automobile" optical illusions on the road so that ACTUAL little girls playing with balls will never know if a REAL car is coming or if it's an optical illusion...This should keep them off the roads right?


posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 07:14 PM
It's an interesting concept but the execution is flawed for all the reasons already mentioned. Thanks for the links gardCanada.

I wouldn't want to drive down this road.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 07:36 PM
Wow, those 3-D street paintings are unbelievable and very believable at the same time, haha.

As for the speed bump painting, I agree you could become desensitized, however, if used in airport garages or something similar where you only go one time and dont come back for a long time it might work. But for your street where you go to work everyday I can see where it wouldn't work out..

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 07:39 PM

Originally posted by davespanners
The trouble is once you have driven over it once it kind of looses it's shock effect, and becomes just another road sign.

It's a pretty cool bit of street art though, maybe they could swap it for a 3d Moose then you would really think about slamming on the breaks

I was thinking the exact same thing as soon as I saw it. See it once and you get used to it. Especially someone that might drive over that every single day. That only got me to thinking that then someday when some girl with huge feet come chasing her ball in front of my car, I will most likely plow right into her all while admiring the realistic appearance of the new "speedbump" painting. It really seems kind of gimmicky.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:06 PM
You know...the article talks about the painting being on a road near a school with a 30km speed limit. Where's that picture and why is a girl playing ball in a parking garage?


This painting shouldn't be needed here. If people can't see the wall at the end of the garage they shouldn't be allowed to drive in the first place. Unless the wall's an illusion.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:36 PM
reply to post by earth2

Hmm .. I hate speed bumps, so half of me likes this better (I've seen variations even 3d painted speed bumps designed to look like.... speed bumps)


A part of me doesn't like this idea because
1. It could cause someone to unnecessarily slam on their breaks causing accidents like rear-ending, spilling drinks, possible whiplash.

2. First time you see it, it would probably work.. the second time it might fool you.. see it everyday? Blowing right through it.

3. You could one day have a real little girl with a pink ball run out in front of you and you've already conditioned your brain: Running over the child causes no adverse effect

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:44 PM
Here is a video of the Speed Bump in question..

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 12:47 AM
As others have said there is also the possibility that you could hit an actual real live 3d child while you are being distracted by a drawing of a 3d child.

edit on 9-9-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 12:37 AM
It seems like a good idea at first, but it's not.

It's just like what happens in communities that are over-zealous with the placement of stop signs. Making people stop at every block and for every intersection with a dead-end cul-de-sac is just plain retarded. The result has bad consequences. After a while, people learn to ignore them. (Even if running a stop sign is against the law.)

So you'll have an incident with a real person running out and people responding to it the way they do to this.

This appears to be placed in a parking lot and I also agree that many people drive waaaaaaaaaay too fast in parking lots. (Hint, it's not an expressway or boulevard! I may even intentionally sacrifice a shopping cart to those who think it's some kind of race course. Maybe they'll learn!) Going faster than 10mph where people are going to and from parked vehicles that create blind corners isn't a good thing. I think the way to fix that isn't with speed bumps alone, but perhaps somebody should engineer the pathways to be intentionally very bumpy. (In other words, it would self-enforce a slower speed limit. Most people don't want to shake their cars apart.) They could use more decorative looking pavers or cobblestones with a rough lumpy surface, or use some kind of borehole pattern or rumble strips. And unlike some larger speed bumps, a rough path is less likely to cause damage to cars which ride low to the ground.

Also even though it may sound funny, intentionally letting certain city streets degrade might be a good solution for speeding when cities are unwilling to do adequate enforcement. (I'm not saying to leave tire ripping pot holes, but heck, let it get bumpy.) If a city isn't going to spend adequate money for policing, may as well save more money on the streets too with the benefit that the speed limit becomes self-enforcing.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 01:12 AM
I used to work in a carpet mill. The fork lift had those back up alarms that sounded when they backed up. Which was good. Some one got the idea that if that was good then having the alarm sound all the time in forward and reverse would be even better. Well it made things bad and I mean real bad. There were some veryclose calls and the fools that came up with this idea could not understand what was going on. So they got us all together to ask what was going on. When I was asked about it I told them that with the buzzer sounding all the time the engine was running that after a while the forklift became invisible to people and faded into the background. When asked that would it help to change it back to the way it was before only sounding in reverse would things back to the way there were before I said "No, the damage is done and it is too late"
They asked my about my ideas to fix the problem. I told them they would have to remove the buzzers from all the forklift and replace them with a new buzzer that sound totally different and the new sound may do the trick. Over a week they asked the same questions to about 200 of us. Not sure what they ever did about it because I found a better job before the mess was fixed.

I am like the rest of you on here. This is going to cause some kid to get ran over.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 01:20 AM
I think the picture of the 3D girl in the parkade is a test drawing, made before the real one was drawn on the street. The video shows a car driving along a street.

Also, the linked article gives its source as original article had an extra paragraph at the end:

The image will be removed after a week, and feedback from police, parents and traffic engineers will be studied to determine if the experiment made any improvement to driver behavior.

Sounds like they have considered the possibility of de-sensitivity to the image and are keeping a close watch to see if it happens.

edit on 11-9-2010 by avocadoshag because: Added link

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