How to help Canadian Drivers…

Posted By Heather Hall

When you’re driving what do you look for? Other cars? Pedestrians? Maybe random objects scattered around? How about a 3-D image of a child painted into the street?

The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) Traffic Safety Foundation in Vancouver, Canada has placed an image of a girl on the road in order to slow drivers down and increase driver awareness. From a far distance, the image looks like a mark on the road, but as the driver approaches, the shape of the girl chasing her ball starts to appear. The idea is that if the driver is going the posted speed limit of 30 mph, then they will have enough time to slow down.

The campaign is costing about $15,000 plus the cost of extra police who will be patrolling the area. Signs will also be put up saying, “You’re probably not expecting kids to run into the road.” All in all, the experiment will cost about $25,000.

The image will be in place for a week, and at the end of the week, the feedback from police, parents and traffic engineers will be studied to see if it made any difference in driver behavior.

It’s an interesting idea, but is it a good idea? There have been many concerns about drivers seeing the image, thinking it’s a real child, and then swerving instead of slowing down, then causing a worse accident. The members of BCAA support the idea saying things like “If a driver can’t respond to this appropriately, that person shouldn’t be driving” and “Everyone has to expect the unexpected.”

What do you think? A good investment for Canada? Or a dangerous mistake that Canada just paid a lot of money for?


One response to “How to help Canadian Drivers…

  1. This was mocked on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” quiz show last weekend. They had quite the field day with it.

    It reminds me of the extraordinary street art of Julian Beever.

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