Child-in-the-road illusion to deter speeding

Discuss

94 Responses to “Child-in-the-road illusion to deter speeding”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Must…Vandalize…Immediately!

  2. Anonymous says:

    umm, just wait until the first driver swerves into oncoming traffic to avoid her, then they might rethink this idea… can you say lawsuit?

  3. Anonymous says:

    “how it impacts driver behavior”:
    Dad: How was school?
    Son: It was fine.
    Dad: Oh, that’s good. Only fine?
    Son: Yea…
    Dad: OH SHIT WHEN DID THAT LITTLE GIRL RUN OUT

    Seconds later they hit actually children on the sidewalk or just hit that telephone pole.

    By detailed risk assessment, do they mean that they predict that people seeing it for the first time will all react predictably? Idiotic. I expect an addendum post to this one indicating that an insurance company is suing the shit out of Preventable and the city for putting this up. Either that, or someone in the city will spray paint over it.

  4. sapere_aude says:

    Good illusion. Bad idea.

    (Bad idea for the reasons the previous commenters have already pointed out; plus it could cause drivers to react in ways that make them more dangerous, such as slamming on their brakes or swerving to miss the “child” in the road.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Whiplash is a preventable injury.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Read up on Rob’s experience when he tried this in Sacramento:
    http://www.cockeyed.com/science/radar/radar.shtml
    I guess it’s okay only when the cops do it?

    • dainel says:

      The lesson from Rob’s experiment is to make a life sized cardboard cut out of a police car. And place it against a fence at the side of the road.

  7. neurolux says:

    That poor girl was apparently already hit by a steamroller.

  8. Rider says:

    Really bad idea.

  9. Hexjumper says:

    No, no, no – they’re not going quite far enough.

    What they need to do is have a setup where you’re driving along, minding your own business when all of the sudden a pneumatic cannon fires pig guts and cow blood all over your windshield, while a $2000 stereo system plays the sound of a small child being hit with a car. In case that you can successfully still control your vehicle, the next bit of road will tilt your car into a nearby ditch.

    Then, while you’re pulling yourself out of the wreck and cursing yourself as a murderer, a guy with a big bushy mustache and a purple top hat and tails stands at the top of the ditch and goes “Surprise! It was all an ill-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSion!”

    Preventables: we’re not complete morons, so we try harder.

    -Darren MacLennan

  10. Loren says:

    I definitely agree that this is a case of crying wolf. We need to quit trying to hard to protect pedestrians–especially school kids–from cars. The actual effect is we keep teaching kids that stepping into the road without proper checking is safe.

    It’s a terrible idea. We had a prime example of this some years back here. A IIRC 13 year old girl walks up to the school crosswalk, looks *ONE* way and starts walking. It was 2 minutes before the lights came on and she stepped right in front of a pickup.

  11. HarveyBoing says:

    As a standard policy, permanent school-zone installation at multiple sites, yes this would be an awful idea.

    But as a single-use, temporary, public-awareness installation, looks great to me.

    How the Preventable folks intend to use it, I have no idea. Hopefully they are using their powers for good.

  12. RevEng says:

    The first thought I had was “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. Why do we have to scare the hell out of drivers to make them drive safe?

    Speed limits and enforcement should be all it takes, but enforcement is rare enough that people gamble on it. Step up the enforcement and the problem will solve itself.

    Also, we should be setting better expectations for pedestrians. I live near several schools in a small Canadian city, and I’ve had the chance to observe all different ages crossing the street. Little kids are the safest and least-likely to be hit. You know why? They are scared of the traffic. Every time I’ve seen a kid under 9 cross the street, they have looked both ways, waited for traffic to stop, and even waited for the drivers to wave them across. By high school age, kids know that they have the right of way and they expect cars to stop, so they just walk right into the middle of a busy street. University students and other adults are often no better, with the difference being that the adults often become indignant when drivers are upset about it.

    We need to spend less time convincing pedestrians that it’s perfectly safe to step out into a busy street because the traffic will stop for them, and more time convincing drivers and pedestrians to communicate and work together. Drivers need to be cautious of pedestrians and pedestrians need to be cautious of drivers.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well if I saw a child in front of my car and it was too late to brake I’d probably swerve to avoid it. Which might cause an accident.
    so it doesn’t seem a very clever idea to me.

    mumphLT

  14. dougp says:

    I see future roads being paved in advertisements.

  15. Djinn PAWN says:

    How can reading a 3-word text message on your phone be illegal, but they can print whole commentaries on the side of the road (expecting you to read them) and that’s A-OK?

    Also, I wonder how this sticker looks when a car is 30 feet ahead of you? It may look like the car ahead of you dropped or birthed a kid. Or maybe that the car ahead of you just ran over a kid. I bet the warning signs don’t let you know that might happen.

    Also, are they doing anything about pedestrian education at the same intersection? The marketing group says it’s very concerned about these preventable injuries. If they are concerned, then educate. If you want a lot of PR then why bother?

    Next to the obvious dangers of trying to fool traffic into an accident situation, all I can see is this eventually desensitizing some drivers and making others more jaded. Neither of which makes anyone any safer.

  16. the_headless_rabbit says:

    Is anyone else reminded of the boy who cried wolf?

  17. brainswarm says:

    Seeing that this stunt has the potential to CAUSE traffic accidents, I would recommend a a 3 AM excursion with a bucket of paint and a roller.

  18. the_pants says:

    A decal of a big stack of pancakes with a side of bacon would probably get me to slow down, if not stop altogether.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Another advantage to being stereoblind. Such 3D illusions are lost on me.

    Then again, I did have to cycle through a dozen annoying captchas to find one I could read, so it’s not all good.

    • erratic says:

      actually, being stereo blind will make this illusion work BETTER on you because you won’t see that the feet are much, much closer to you than the head.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Now we need Beatles decals at every crosswalk

  21. CH says:

    Holy cr*p that is a bad idea!!!

    I would like to see that “detailed risk assessment”! Somehow I have a feeling it isn’t.

    If nothing else, I don’t want a driver to _ever_ think it might be just a decal, if he/she sees a child in the middle of the road. The reaction should be “BRAKEBRAKEBRAKE!!!” not “is that real or not?”. I’m honestly spitting mad at that bleepety bleep “safety awareness group”. I hope no other group gets any ideas from them, or at least stay out of my bleepety bleep country!

  22. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of the illusions the advanced, mutant humans used in the original Planet of the Apes to scare the apes away from the mutant human territory.

    Perhaps the sticker people should next time do similar illusions.

  23. delilah says:

    problem 1: people get used to this and ignore the actual children who are kneeling in the road. XD
    problem 2: swerving to avoid could cause an accident in the first place.

  24. Anonymous says:

    what about an automated machine gun controlled by a speed measurement device ?

  25. bob d says:

    I don’t see why this is a bad idea. First of all, this is in a school zone, after a crosswalk, so drivers should already be slowing, and perhaps I’m wrong, but it looks like the illusion only works at a fair distance, so at most it would cause drivers to slow down further rather than swerve/slam on the brakes. Once they’re closer they can see it’s just a decal, but by that time they’re past the crosswalk and can safely speed up a bit.

    • Michael Smith says:

      #18,

      Lets say a driver gets used to seeing the picture of the child, then one day drives that way when a real child (with similar appearance) is crossing the road.

      I have to say that the fringes of traffic engineering are loaded with stupid ideas. I am currently fighting my local council because they have replaced the lines delineating bicycle lanes with strips of raised plastic. The stuff is horrible to ride on but their attitude is something like “well, yeah you may be killed, but many more drivers will know the bicycle lane is there, so thats better, right?”

  26. CH says:

    An insurance company in my country has now for several years given out to all first graders yellow caps with the text “Rookie in traffic” to have walking reminders for all drivers that there are new pedestrians walking in the traffic. So every fall you see a lot of small kids with yellow caps, and in addition to going ‘awww’ you are also reminded to slow down! And yes, my kid went to school today proudly wearing her yellow cap. :)

    This I think is a much better reminder (“keep _me_ safe in traffic”), and it doesn’t create wrong kind of reaction paths. You see a kid with a yellow cap in the middle of the road, you better brake!

  27. MarkM says:

    So, what happens after 6 months that you’ve conditioned the driver to “drive through the child”– only this time there’s an actual child there …

  28. caipirina says:

    it might look 3d on youtube … but last time I checked, most drivers had 2 eyes to give them 3D vision …

    as many others pointed out … this is rather a distraction, which might cause accidents then prevent them.

  29. nutbastard says:

    “with some claiming it could lead drivers to swerve or break abruptly in a school zone.”

    we wouldn’t want drivers to spontaneously malfunction!

    as someone who reads a lot of CL ads for cars, two things bug me more than bugs: talking about how much ‘thread’ the tires have and how recently the ‘breaks’ were serviced.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why everyone thinks this will cause people to slam on the brakes, or careen into a pole. Everyone who drives has to stop for *real* people in crosswalks all the time, and to respond to people walking in the traffic lane next to a parked car. It is clear when you get close to the decal that the road is empty so they would only tend to hesitate for a couple seconds 100m down the road, because the street is more complex. It is the same principle why people speed on wide flat roads with a shoulder, but slow down when there are parked cars and a narrower road.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Would I be a bad person if I sped up?

  32. Anonymous says:

    WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!???!?!?!??!?!

    I’ve seen this posted at least 3 or 4 places now, and every time the comments section is just chock full of irrational panicking.

    This is a two dimensional image, people. The illusion only works for a very short period of time, at around 100 feet away. Before and after that point she looks like a distended and distorted two dimensional image, plastered to the ground. Even when the illusion happens, you still know it’s not 3d, just like when you look at an isometric cube on your screen you know it’s not really popping out of your monitor.

    This is a very large decal, like the huge “school zone” writing on roads. It’s not something that just jumps out at you, you see it from hundreds of yards away. It’s two dimensional and doesn’t move.. It’s completely and utterly obvious that it’s flat and stuck to the ground.

    Sure, you might swerve to avoid this, just like you might swerve to avoid crosswalk stripes or any other thing painted on the road. Sure, this might condition people to run over little girls, but only pan-dimensional intergalactic little girls who are locked in time, and occupy only two of our earth dimensions.

    Have you LOOKED at it? From any angle other than one very specific one 100 feet away, it looks ridiculously distorted. By the time you go to swerve, you’re looking at a 10 foot long little girl that’s stretched 3x longer than she should be.. I can’t possibly see how anyone in their right mind could ever possibly mistake this for a real little girl, or mistake a real little girl for this.

  33. Rural Mutant says:

    ‘intense debate in BC’ …this is the first I have heard of it, of course a lot of people say BC but really mean Vancouver.
    I would have to agree that it’s not bad for a brief awareness campaign but is not the best for anything long term.

  34. Anonymous says:

    wow… tons of people are upset about this… and rightly so. Hell, even if people didn’t swerve, imagine we get complacent in it, one day that real kid is running across the road and bam! We thought it was a picture…

  35. lorq says:

    Driver slams on brakes, snapping neck of real child in the car with him.

  36. Yamara says:

    The obvious solution would be to gun down every car driver that exceeded a certain speed in school zones.

    Neighborhoods would suddenly become incredibly walkable.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone being so negative about this? I can’t think of a better way to condition drivers to run down innocent children.

    If bold initiatives like this fail, the illuminati will be unable to control population growth.

  38. Silversalty says:

    I commented on this sort of thing elsewhere. Why go with false impressions of kids when you can put the real thing in harms way and make it a test of skill for drivers to avoid hitting them?

    Hicks Street chicane (Brooklyn, NY).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14060984@N05/4967252737/

    Designed to kill .. kids.

    What’s a chicane? Here’s the Dictionary.com definition, under “motor racing:”

    “a short section of sharp narrow bends formed by barriers placed on a motor-racing circuit to provide an additional test of driving skill”

    This intersection is designed to kill .. kids.

    A few minutes before I captured this image I dropped off a father and daughter at the far left corner. I had to make the left turn to avoid completely blocking the roadway. The father was taking his daughter to a nearby school. The daughter was about half the height of the young woman on the right under the “Don’t walk” icon.

    These newly extended corners are all over NYC with more being added daily. Rarely are they so obviously dangerous with close catty-corner implementation. But in all cases they greatly add to the danger of a corner situation.

    Maybe people think that with an extended curb they have added safety, but the reality is that instead of being four to six feet from moving traffic you’re six inches from that traffic. Regularly I see people (adults) casually stepping off these extended curbs as if they have plenty of leeway from traffic. They don’t.

    These sort of dangerous and lethal situations are being built throughout NYC by Mayor Bloomberg and his flacks.

    On lower Second Avenue there’s a newly painted bike path that extends down the center of the avenue’s traffic. This is also a cross over area where motorists choose a particular direction to take at Houston Street. It’s a major traffic congestion point during evening rush hour being an approach to both the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges. I had to laugh when I saw the street icons where at one point arrows directing motorized traffic point right into cycling icons. This is designed to maim and kill .. and then blame motorized traffic and thereby justify further insane changes.

    Sickfuxity. Latin I think.

    • jerwin says:

      What’s a chicane? Here’s the Dictionary.com definition, under “motor racing:” “a short section of sharp narrow bends formed by barriers placed on a motor-racing circuit to provide an additional test of driving skill”

      You really shouldn’t argue from a dictionary. On a race course, skill is not defined as “completing the course without crashing”, it’s about getting the fastest time. A skilled race car driver can navigate a chicane without losing much speed, and a not so skilled race car driver will slow down his vehicle a great deal.

      Sometimes racing chicanes are put in for safety reasons, but it’s still a racing chicane.

      No one should be racing through a school zone. The objective of commuting is not to achieve the fastest rally time. If the road bends, people will slow down– though the resulting traffic behavior may not contribute to pedestrian safety.

  39. Baldhead says:

    I honestly think that copy editors were replaced at some point by a spell checker, because I see this sort of thing all the time. Along with being asked to bare with someone (I wish this would happen in context more often), and of course the wandering apostrophes. There are days I want to send the local paper a copy with all the sentence- changing errors highlighted.

  40. Angstrom says:

    I actually think this is a good idea.

    I’m opposed to the standard speedbumps because they get wedged on the underside of my Ferrari, as do children, so this new “flat child” system seems to solve both issues.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Also, pedestrians don’t just pop up in the middle of the road. They come in from the edges. Drivers should (normally) check the sides for children who might dart across the tarmac.

    “Before drivers approach the image, they pass a “School Zone” sign, crosswalk, an extended curb and a sign by Preventable that reads, “You’re probably not expecting kids to run out on the road.”

    I expect them to run out on the road. Not pop out of it.

    Lots of “traffic calming” measures only add to the driver’s workload during a trip. Although they are aimed at careless drivers, everyone is affected, careful drivers even more so. Fatigue is a major risk factor for accidents.

  42. poagao says:

    Notice also that it’s a little blonde girl, the kind most likely to cause media concern. These people certain do their homework.

  43. jenjen says:

    This only makes sense if they move it around. If it’s left in the same place, people who routinely drive that street will learn to just keep going at their usual pace. It’s only effective the first time.

  44. Dick says:

    I have been in traffic safety for almost 40 years and an constantly amazed by the dumb ideas people come up with. This will cause more accidents and not prevent any by fooling a driver to slow down suddenly and get rearended, or worse, cause the driver to swerve and lose control and hit a bunch of kids on the sidewalk. Cars may have improved with disc brakes and seatbelts but the driver behind the wheel is the same as 100 years ago. Same two eyes, reaction times, attention span. If anything, drivers today are a little more agressive as cars’ safety devices, handling, lighting and roadways improve providing a false sense of ability.

  45. Anonymous says:

    @Michael Smith: So the town council or whatever decided it’d be better to delineate the bike lane with something that could throw you off your bike, if you ran into it with a very shallow angle? Brilliant.

    As others have said, keep an eye on the news in BC, because we will see this illusion again.

  46. Anonymous says:

    this will definitely do more harm than good.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Why has no-one mentioned:

    a) Boy who cried Wolf
    b) drivers getting conditioned to the image
    c) drivers swerfing and cauing a real accident

    They seem like obvious points and i don’t understand why no-one has commented on that yet?

    Sheesh.

  48. Anonymous says:

    No-one should need to “slam on their brakes” in a school zone with a pedestrian crossing.
    All drivers should be travelling at speeds slow enough to be able to gently ease up if need be.
    Plus the illusion looks to be effective from way beyond regular stopping distance.
    The only way this can cause hazards is if the driver is going too fast and not paying attention to the road. Close to a level crossing. Near a school. If that’s the case then they bloody well deserve whiplash.

    Poor drivers need to accept responsibility for their actions and go back to driving school if they can’t do it well.

  49. Anonymous says:

    this is not the answer.

    In Arizona, we had our superintendent of public schools get a ticket for speeding in a school zone.
    (now he’s running for attorney general)

    I like the yellow hat idea, but then these people couldn’t make any money off of that, could they?

    Drivers that drive as if there could be a child acting childish near a school zone or in a residential area is probably the answer.

    I have a lot more to say about this, but…

    (expletive deleted)

  50. spiderking says:

    What the hell kind of professional copy editor can’t spot the difference between “break” and “brake”? CNN’s, I guess.

  51. BadIdeaSociety says:

    This is a difficult strategy to condone. The two things I worry the about two things:

    1) People panic-braking (at any speed) and getting tapped (crushed)by a tailgater.

    2) Someone swerving to avoid the decal and hitting something or someone else.

    The idea of safe children shouldn’t compromise the safety of others. In the same way that people on BoingBoing condone the annoyingly-named notion of raising “Free-Range Children,” this idea involves teaching your children proper respect for the natural world. It is about taking acceptable risks and avoiding foolish decisions.

    Teach your children that the “Rules of the Road” aren’t regulated by scientific principals, they are regulated by a social contract that many, many people don’t obey. People will drive too fast. People who don’t drive too fast might be drunk or sleeping or out to hurt you.

    Oh, yeah. Add to that list: some people might be desensitized to optical illusions and think you are not real up until the moment they make a pancake out of you.

  52. Bionicrat2 says:

    I can’t believe comparisons haven’t been made to this Steve Martin short:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/127462/snl_drunk_driver_steve_martin/

  53. pmh says:

    The only stupid thing that these idiots havent done is put it in a curve.

    Have these people studied how slippery the decal gets when it is wet? No.

    Is there a major chance that someone on a motorcycle at legal speeds would lose control when braking with certain damages+injury and possible death? Yes.

    Are these people insane or just stupid enough that we would all be better off if they didn’t procreate? Probably both.

    Anon25 you don’t protect people even children by placing something in the roadway that is a hasard for others. It’s homicidal.

  54. Sekino says:

    I just want to know what’s the problem with *actual* speed bumps, a big ol’ hump of concrete that will mess up your car if you don’t slow down.

    If there’s one thing most drivers really care about, it’s their cars.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Where I live, the main road out of town going west runs between two halves of a university. To keep the kidses from walking out into the street all throughout the block and to encourage them to use the crosswalks and intersections, the university put up rope/chain fences, like the ones at airports and movie theaters that move people through waiting lines.
    Why not add something more like that around schools? It worked incredibly well here. Of course, many (college) kids still walk into the street without looking, but at least now they are doing it at painted crosswalks where drivers are more apt to be prepared for that. You expect people at intersections; you can only try so hard to expect the unexpected at any random point.
    …And I agree, the decal is stupid asshattery.

  56. Alessandro Cima says:

    This is possibly the stupidest thing I have seen on or near a road in the past ten years.

    ‘Hey, look! Cool man! It’s a fake 3D child again! Run her over!’

    Thump.

  57. BikerRay says:

    I’m opposed to all “traffic calming” measures (speed bumps, chicanes, etc.). They are invariably distracting and annoying, and the ensuing frustration likely causes drivers to speed up once they are past the obstruction in an attempt to make up for lost time.

  58. John V says:

    It’s a well-intentioned gimmick. People need to drive slower, especially on residential neighborhoods and near schools.

    You can accomplish this more effectively with better street design.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I recognized the school in the video, I went there for a few years. There was an excess of traffic problems there, and several collisions (including a door being ripped off a car from a cabby not looking where he was driving). Kids were also constantly on the road, crossing or playing.

  60. Anonymous says:

    It’s really hard to get “people” to actually think, but some things have really made an impact on how I drive.

    When I lived in Spokane out in the boonies, the dead deer on the side of the road. I mean the first few times you see one it’s like “Meh, someone was stupid” but one day you sit and think about how constant it is and you start driving through that area a little more cautiously.

    Also, roadside memorials–I was riding my bike and stopped and looked at one. I read some of the stuff people had left and looked at the pictures. Gave me a bit to think about, although it was too big to put in a city.

    If there was a marker on the road for every dead person with some kind of a summary of how their death could have been prevented or what stupid decisions went into this death along with notes from friends and family… Perhaps it could even be something digital like one of those bar codes you can scan with your phone along with a two paragraph summary on some permanent headstone.

    Heck, now that I think about it, I wish this could completely replace cemeteries and burial. Cremate everyone and build their digital memorial from the ashes–each one about the size of a fencepost placed where they actually died instead of some arbitrary plot.

    The point is, when you see that one corner with 50 crowded memorial fence-posts you MAY eventually slow down and consider–it would have more impact than the “Slow” sign you see every 5 feet, some fake decal or any other advisory they could throw up.

  61. Anonymous says:

    “Oh my got you just hit a child!”
    “Meh, thought it was an illusion. Next.”

  62. Anonymous says:

    This is just a fucking stupid thing to do.
    What’s next? Painting burglars on people’s windows? Hanging crashing airplanes outside skyscrapers?

    Drivers are not going to realize this is a decal and just happily drive right over this any more than they’d drive over an actual child.

  63. SkullHyphy says:

    I look forward to the day when it will be illegal to manually operate a car on public roads.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they could look at ways to deter children from running into the path of oncoming traffic; rather than scaring the shit out of drivers of cars on roads?

    Or is that logic far too sensible for a government to consider?

    Perhaps we should do the same thing on paths for pedestrians just in case a car jumps the curb? Seems just as logical to me.

  65. Richard Kirk says:

    Alex (#1) describes a real case where a similar illusion nearly caused an accident. Actinous (#2) provides a nice allegory. There are a couple of posts with interesting points, and about thirty other posts saying “I think this is a bad idea and will cause accidents”.

    I think we ought to mark this in our diaries and come back in six months and see how it went. Health and safety people get to do this sort of thing. This may be because there are no health and safety people stopping them. Call me old fashioned, but I like experiments.

    Seriously though, guys, and with all due apologies for being a bit flamebaitey, but thirty posts saying the same thing? All they really say “I am So Important you should Read My Opinions, but I am Much Too Busy And Important to Read any of yours”. Maybe, we just need a poll buttons saying “Hear, hear” or “Shame, shame”.

  66. AirPillo says:

    But Preventable says a detailed risk assessment was undertaken to address such concerns.

    Science tip #1:
    The worst science on earth is research commissioned by a company about their own product.

    It’s just a paid testimonial with pretensions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I bet the meeting went like this:

      “Well we’re going down the tubes right now, so we’ve got to do something!

      How many other horrible ideas have been perpetuated with this same “reasoning?”

  67. lapinagile says:

    So now we use “tricks” to influence people to behave the way politicians see fit ?
    Wow ! is that the way politicians view us ? Like unrully children in need to be conned into “proper” behaviour ?
    What other “tricks” of this kind are we unknowingly be subjected to ?
    I heard that 2 experiments were made, one in a scandinavian country, the other in the UK: a whole area (the size of a small district) had all its trafic signs removed. All entries to both areas had clear signs warning drivers that they were entering a zone void of all trafic signs and warnings. Result: after a few months, 30% reduction in accidents were recorded.
    Resulting measures taken: zero ! Mention in the press of these interresting results: a whisper…
    Instead, we have ever increasing and confusing warning signs on the road, exagerated danger panels etc…
    Politicians only have one brain patern: more is better. That’s about it, really…

    • tomchaps says:

      What does this have to do with politicians? This was done by a “safety awareness group”, and has nothing to do with any nanny-state bugbear you might be envisioning.

      Also, yes, governments (and corporations and everyone) use “tricks” to modify behavior–it’s simply basic design, whether used to improve traffic safety or sell cigarettes to children. This seems an odd example to take offense at, given the options. (Although a thoroughly stupid one…)

  68. Anonymous says:

    If we get used to “running over” children it will desensitize us, then we really will run over children.

    Bad bad idea.

    ___________

    Make the pavements level with the road instead, that has been shown to work in slowing traffic.

  69. pmhparis says:

    The thing is, the people pushing this stupidity would deny any responsibility if a real child gets run over because the driver thought it was just another decal.

  70. Anonymous says:

    It’s not really realistic. That little girl wouldn’t be just sitting in the road waiting to get hit. Usually, an accident will happen when the child darts out unexpected by the driver.

  71. planettom says:

    I’m curious what this looks like at night in the headlights…

  72. Camp Freddie says:

    Just what is the purpose of this? Why would thinking that a child is in the road make people drive more safely?

    People have mentioned the key dangers, but I’ve thought of another.

    Lots of people driving the other way will be rubbernecking at the weird mess of paint on the left side of the road and not see the (real) little girl that runs out from the right.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievably stupid idea. We should gather our pitchforks and torches and lynch these people with trick rope that breaks as soon as we kick the stool out from under their feet. What a brilliant psychological lesson they will learn.

    Fucking idiots.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone thought of the ambulance/police/firie speeding along to an emergency? This has major disaster written all over it.

  75. elagie says:

    Obviously this is just a clever ploy by the police to attract stoners who will endlessly drive past to let the illusion mess with their heads…

    Seriously, I have to agree with the crowd here – seems to condition people to ignore kids in the street.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or does using an Optical Illusion on someone driving seem a really BAD idea?

  77. cjp says:

    I’m all for this, but in West Van the verbose sign saying ‘You’re probably not expecting a kid to run out on the road’ is way too long. Many residents there are of Asian origin and, personally, I would find translating that while driving quite difficult. Stick to pictograms, people.

  78. Alex says:

    I live near a shopping center that has brass sculptures, including a pair of mother and daughter that look like they’re about to dash across the street.

    It’s made me extremely paranoid and probably almost gotten me rear-ended.

    Bad idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      “It’s made me extremely paranoid and probably almost gotten me rear-ended.
      Bad idea.”

      If we have reach a point where people need that kind of illusion to slow down on roads because they are too irresponsible to do that themselves, i say yes, it is necessary.

  79. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Aesop nailed why this won’t work circa 600 BCE. At first it’s all, “Stop! Stop!”, then it’s all, “Dude, it’s just a decal. Ooops.”

  80. ju2tin says:

    This will just encourage drivers to run over real children in the road, expecting them to be nothing but illusions.

  81. Zadaz says:

    Bad idea for at least two reasons.

    1) After people get used to the fake its traffic calming abilities will be zero.

    2) Training people that little girls in traffic are fake is just frikking evil. I mean that little girl is just a decal, so why stop? *squish*

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