A new program in India has seen the introduction of ‘virtual’ speed bumps, in an attempt to reduce the road toll caused by speed humps and potholes.
Over the last three decades, the number of cars on Indian roads has dramatically increased from 5 million to over 75 million vehicles. The popularity of personal motor transport has grown so quickly that it has outpaced infrastructure expansion, with India’s road network still of poor quality, making it ill-equipped to handle such capacity and modern speeds.
According to India’s 2014 Road Accident Report, over 11,000 deaths have come as a result of speed bumps and potholes.
In response to this, road officials ordered the removal of all speed breakers from freeways, with arterial roads next on the hit list.
To maintain pedestrian safety without speed humps, Nitin Gadkari, India’s minister for road transport, has come up with the idea of 3D paintings used as ‘virtual’ speed breakers.
We are trying out 3D paintings used as virtual speed breakers to avoid unnecessary requirements of speed breakers pic.twitter.com/M5r6zkO6uU
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) April 26, 2016
In a tweet, Gadkari posted a photo of a painted-on pedestrian crossing that created the illusion of three-dimensional speed humps “to avoid the unnecessary requirements of speed breakers”.
Raghav Chandra, chairman for the national highways authority of India, said: “We will test it out in a couple of highways at one or two points”.
“If it doesn’t cause any problem of road safety, we can experiment with it further.”
While the main idea behind the initiative is to slow drivers down and maintain the safety of pedestrians and motorists, the installation and maintenance of virtual speed humps is much cheaper than the physical counterpart. Therefore, it works as an economic plan to reduce costs.
A similar program was trialled in the US in 2008, with Philadelphia replaced speed humps at 100 junctions with 3D paintings in an effort to slow traffic. Scandinavia and Canada have also trialled similar initiatives.
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