The City of West Vancouver has come up with a new way to keep drivers alert while driving past École Pauline Johnson Elementary School. Instead of speed bumps on the road, there are elongated drawings of a child chasing after a ball. As the driver approaches the drawing from about 100 feet, the figure rises up from the ground, appearing to be a real child, and the driver is forced to slow down or stop. Police will be monitoring the illusion's effects for the next couple of weeks.
The recommended speed limit through school areas is 30 kilometers per hour, but too many people exceed that limit. So the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is using this method to create a public awareness of how quickly children can dart in front of a car. According to David Duane of the BCAA, “It’s a static image. If a driver can’t respond to this appropriately, that person shouldn’t be driving….”
I think it's a fabulous idea. Every year 2,600 people are injured in pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents in B.C. The fault is not always with the driver, though. I have seen pedestrians do some really stupid things, including walking across an unmarked intersection in the dark, talking on the phone or texting. The other day I saw a woman run across four lanes of traffic, in the middle of the road, to try to catch a bus. She caused a fender-bender, but as she hopped on her bus and rode away she was completely oblivious to what she had done. Children are a whole other matter, though, and no matter how much they are taught, "Stop, look and listen..." they still make mistakes. So, please, slow down through school zones.