To change the statistics of reckless driving in India, its government has taken to a non-engineering solution: art.
Yup, that’s right; the union minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari has tweeted a photo on April 2016 with the caption, “We are trying out 3D paintings used as virtual speed breakers to avoid unnecessary requirements of speed breakers.”
Adding to the creative wall art found in sidewalks that appears to be three dimensional, these 3D-like barriers have a road function: the plan is to make the reckless drivers think that they are approaching a barrier, but to realize as they get close that it is just painted blocks on the pavement.
Indeed the optical illusions are made to confuse the road speedsters. From afar it looks like a roadblock.
That’s what drivers already see when they pass a highway in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India drawn by a mother-daughter tandem.
Saumya Pandya Thakkar (left) and Shakuntala Pandya.
To say that one object is actually is a 3D painting is subjective, which applies to the rushing drivers on the road. But the artists have guaranteed that it is enough to avoid panic-breaking.
The Chairman of National Highways Authority of India, Raghav Chandra, said at the time that 3D painted bumps will be implemented throughout the nation if it does not hamper road safety.
In January 2017, Uttarakhand got its three-dimensional (3D) speed breaker at Race Course in Dehradun. The Public Works Department (PWD) instructed the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to collaborate with the Delhi Street Art (DSA), a group of artists and 3D designers to assist in painting and designing the speed breaker.
PWD official Sarin Kumar said, “The 3D speed breaker will create an optical illusion to ensure people slow down their vehicles. If the trial attempt is a success, we may collaborate with DSA for 3D speed breakers in the city.”
A solution like this is not unique in India, and has already been applied in several other regions like Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.