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Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

Posted October 20, 2010 7:24 AM

In an attempt to reduce speeding in a school zone, authorities in Canada are using the optical illusion of a little girl running out into the street. Cars going slowly enough can stop; those going faster will hit her. How long before some drivers start speeding up to hit her as a joke? And how long before they hit a real child by mistake? Putting it in a school zone? Is this an effective method of speed control or a dumb idea?

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#1

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 8:01 AM

Very cool technology and interesting thinking.

From the link, "What they didn't address is the possibility of injury to drivers who slam on their breaks after seeing what they think is a little girl running out in front of their car.

The first driver accident or coronary from this will probably address the issue that they didn't address with a legal suit.

As the original poster noted, it may be an enticement to turn the safety device into a game or excite an unknowing passenger.

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#17
In reply to #1

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 10:09 AM

The first driver accident or coronary from this will probably address the issue that they didn't address with a legal suit.

Reminds me of a stupid prank we used to pull on Halloween. Make a dummy out of stuffed clothing. Bushes close to the street between streetlights, one of us on each side of the road, monofilament tied to the dummy across the road. When a car approached, jerk the dummy out in front of the car. As the brakes screeched, pull the dummy and run like H..l, laughing as the driver cusssed at "you stupid kids".

But the last time we did it there was a 60+ "little old lady" driving. She actually hit the dummy and fainted. Fortunately the car had stalled, and I could not just run off and leave her there. A police officer arrived within 2 minutes, (complaints had been filed) and she had revived enough to tell him what "those awful ruffians" had done, and that this nice young man had come to help her. The officer, who knew my family, asked me if I would like a ride home. (Oh yes, he knew who one of those "awful ruffians" was.) He and my dad made sure I was aware of just how close I had come to some MAJOR grief.

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#2

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 9:28 AM

In the split second it takes to react I think most people would swerve and possibly hit another car rather than hit a person if they couldn't stop soon enough. Imagine how annoyed you would be to find out you totaled two cars because of an optical illusion. Now set up some speed cameras and make the illusion one of a lawyer and you've got yourself a revenue stream.

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#3
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 9:34 AM

My guess it would be an even split between those that try to stop and those that speed up to try to run the attorney down.

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#7
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 6:39 PM

Not this attorney.

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#8
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 7:00 PM

You are right. I can see people backing over him and multiple times.

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#24
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/28/2010 3:40 AM

I can see people backing over him and multiple times.

The attorney or the little girl?

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#25
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/28/2010 6:22 AM

Only if she has a sex change and becomes a him could that happen.

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#4

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 11:36 AM

That reminds me of a prank. As a car approaches in the dark, kids on either side of the road pretend to pull on a rope, surprising the driver into slamming on the brakes.

Bad idea.

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#5

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 1:27 PM

I remember a neighbor when I was growing up that had his yard landscaped in a nautical theme. For edging around one of his raised flower beds he had some four inch thick ropes. When some local teenagers started to use our long straight street for a drag strip, some unknown local hooligans would vandalize the edging of these flower beds and lay the ropes across the street. Nobody in the neighborhood could ever identify who kept placing these ropes across the street. Clearly it wasn't my neighbor doing this vandalism, for most of the time that the ropes were removed he was on the road doing his long haul trucking business or on vacation with his whole family.

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#6

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 5:55 PM

This reminds me of a story of a boy who cried wolf.

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#9
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/20/2010 10:38 PM

Add to it those zones that have radar signage. "Your Speed is". And how many kids crank up the old bomber to see what it will do.

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#10

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 1:37 AM

Why?

The question here is what numbnuts thought up this up?

Natural human reaction to avoid a collision with a person is to swerve if it is perceived that there is no other alternative. So head-on collisions will happen presuming that the road is two way, or worse the driver hits a REAL person, then court, then massive compensation payouts, then someone will get fired.

I thought the Canadians were a little more level headed than this.

Bone jarring speed bumps in the road do the trick at a fraction of the cost

Yes, a REAL DUMB idea!

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#11
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 6:24 AM

The problem with speed bumps is they punish the innocent (the majority of drivers) just to try to slow down the guilty.

My car doesn't take them very well. One road I was on caused an accident when I slowed down for the bump. The only way for me to safely get over them is to go over them slowly at an angle or it tears off the front spoiler (This is a factory stock, DOT approved car with zero modifications).

A motorcyclist behind me decided to pass me over the bump, but fell when she went around because I had to turn leftward to cross the bump. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt badly, but it was still unnerving even when it was her own fault.

To avoid another accident I took the next speed bump straight on and sure enough it ripped the front spoiler off forcing me to stop, which created a bigger hazard.

Never went back to that road again.

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#12

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 6:43 AM

I would think maybe the illusion of a child waiting on a corner or the side of the road would be enough to make people slow down. Or put an illusion of a cop car sitting on the side of the road, makes most people around here slow way the hell down, usually below the speed limit.

Shawn

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 9:37 AM

I totally agree with Shawn and think that it is a great idea to have an illusion of children waiting on the corner or side to cross the road. Seeing a child most ppl will slow down. A cops car is much more better idea as this will at least give some scare to the thiefs or miss behaved ppl.

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#13

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 7:55 AM

I think an illusion of a cop with lights on and someone pulled over or a cop with door propped open and radar gun in hand would be a better use of this technology. Everybody around here slows down for cop lights just to gawk at what is going on or for paranoia.

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#14
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 8:05 AM

In that case, two women mud wrestling on the side of the road would serve even better. ;-)

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#18
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Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 10:24 AM

There's a rear ending joke in there somewhere.......

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#15

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 9:12 AM

Gimmicks don't ever seem to work. Barney Fife with his radar gun works every time.

I have seen those little radar speed display trailers in various places and have noticed some try to see how high the numbers will go.

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#20
In reply to #15

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 1:36 PM

At least in this area, if you see the radar speed trailer this week, next week there will be no trailer, but there will be a real police car, with a real radar gun, and a real pen.

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#19

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/21/2010 12:06 PM

This one is duly nominated for dumb idea of the year!

Setup a permanent speed trap with cameras and mail the offenders the ticket - too easy!

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#21

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/22/2010 10:46 AM

The town I used to live in had a street that had a major speeding/accident problem. Note the accidents because speeding on a straight stretch of hilly road with many side streets. The solution was to repaint the lines on the road. Apparently someone figured out that the narrower cramped lanes caused a feeling of unease in people and so they slowed down. It was a brilliant blend of psychology into engineering.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/22/2010 11:17 AM

Enough of the BS. Now that the cash for clunkers is over, older cars have little value. Instead of a stuffed doll, just send the old junker down the hill. Perhaps you could work out some arrangement ($$$$$$) with a local body repair shop for guidance on just how to set this up.

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#23

Re: Will Optical Illusion Slow Drivers?

10/23/2010 10:21 AM

I guess the idea of a stop sign in front of a busy school cross walk is right out too huh?

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