Optical Illusions Help Keep Pedestrians Safe in This Icelandic Village

January 31, 2018

Cities are always willing to try something new to help keep their pedestrians safe. A village in Iceland recently tried something new—an optical illusion.

Isafjordur is a small fishing village in Iceland. City officials wanted to create something to help encourage drivers to slow down at crosswalks.

The environmental commissioner, Ralf Trylla, came up with an idea. He had seen a similar project in India. He decided to work with an art organization in the city to create an optical illusion.

On the crosswalk are the typical stripes of white. However, this crosswalk also includes some darker boxes.

The organization and the city worked together for several weeks before they finally perfected their technique. The different shades of color make it look like pedestrians are walking across 3-D boxes to get across the street.

The optical illusion shifts slightly depending on your perspective. From the ground, it looks like the boxes are floating several inches above the ground. From the air, however, the boxes appear to be significantly taller.

The video below shows a couple of different perspectives on the boxes. We know exactly what’s going on with the crosswalk, but it still makes you think a little more than a typical crosswalk.


It might not seem like this would make a huge difference to the drivers—but really it just needs to make them pause for a minute. If their attention is drawn to the crosswalk, they’ll be more likely to stop for anyone crossing it.

Right now, Iceland is just testing out this new system. But, who knows, maybe it will work much better than other options!

In other news, this girl was almost attacked by a deadly snake—but her pet dog stepped in to save the day! Read the story here.

Next: Girl and Dog Come Face-to-Face with Deadly Snake—What the Dog Did Next Saved Her LifeJan 10, 2018