Optical illusions have been popular for as long as humans have been able to make them. They’re endlessly fun because they promote cognitive dissonance. We see something but know intellectually that it isn’t really there. Yet it is – we see it! This tricking of our brains makes for a very intriguing thing. No wonder they’re so popular – especially with the proliferation of optical illusions and 3D puzzles spreading over the internet. But now London city planners have put optical illusions to good use. Instead of using them as a source of entertainment, they’ve used them on the roads to slow drivers down. Discover how below!
The optical illusions simulate speed bumps in the road. But instead of having to invest in the asphalt to create a speed bump, the traffic workers only have to pain the clever optical illusions – this saves London a lot of money.
Although you may know that it is just an optical illusion, you’re still going to want to slow your car down because it looks like the real deal. And you don’t want to guess wrong.
Traffic workers have painted the black and white patterns on busy highways and high-traffic residential areas. They hope to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and keep drivers going the speed limit.
The virtual speed bumps seem to be working. The Transport for London (TFL) group first piloted the program on the A117 back in November 2014. It was a wild success. And last summer they painted the virtual bumps on Southwark Street in South London.
The optical illusion aims to bring traffic speed down to 20 mph.
So how did the optical illusions work? Results showed that nine months after their installation, the virtual speed bumps lowered average traffic speeds by 3 mph.
Although TFL only controls and manages 5 percent of London’s roads, they hope to use more of these virtual speed bumps because they’ve been proven to lower the average speed of cars.
Since the success pilot tests, the governmental group has painted more virtual speed bumps in 45 secret locations. And because it’s been proven to work, other boroughs across London are following suit and copying the idea.
TFL’s head of sponsorship, Nigel Hardy, said: “We are working hard to create a road network which is free from death or serious injury. This Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger includes testing the effectiveness of 20mph limits on parts of Transport for London’s road network. As part of these trials a number of different measures – including new signs, road markings and painted speed bumps – are being introduced to reduce traffic speeds. We will continue to try new speed reducing ideas to save lives and prevent injury on our roads.”
TFL hopes to reduce the need for speed bumps, lumps and humps. These have added cost and increased noise from traffic.
Optical illusions are becoming more popular in traffic safety. They help slow traffic down and keep pedestrians safe.
Do you think America should start using them?
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