This Optical Illusion in London Is Meant to Encourage Drivers to Slow Down

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It’s called a “zebra crossing”—and it's in 3D.

London has debuted a new kind of safety feature that takes an optical illusion to the next level. Called a “zebra crossing,” it resembles the rectangular set of stripes you’d see on any pedestrian pathway. The only difference: To a driver, it seems as if the strips jump off the road and into a third dimension. If that doesn’t cause you to stop in your tracks, we’re in trouble.

The 3D crossing is currently located at St John's Wood by Westminster City Council for 12 months as part of a trial run to see if it helps encourage drivers to slow down. According to BBC, local residents and a nearby school have complained of speeding cars in the area. It doesn’t help that the famous pedestrian walk where The Beatles shot their album cover for Abbey Road is located a few blocks away, only adding to the traffic.


Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

London isn’t the first to implement this kind of road safety design onto its streets. You can find a similar crossing in Ísafjörður, a small fishing village in the Westfjords of Iceland. You can also find them across India. If anything, you have to appreciate how cool these crossings look. One look and it’s obvious where it gets its name.

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Sure, it may be a bit of a scare tactic—quickly approaching anything that looks to be 3D in the middle of the road could frighten even the most seasoned driver—but hopefully, it helps keep drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians safer.