Road safety enters new dimension in Westminster

11.57 | 1 March 2019 | | 6 comments

The UK’s first 3D zebra crossing – designed to give the impression that passing vehicles are about to drive over a ramp – has been installed in Westminster.

The new crossing, located in St John’s Wood, is being trialled over a 12-month period by Westminster City Council – who says 3D zebra crossings ‘could be the future of road safety’.

A ‘dual directional’ floating effect makes the crossing more visible to drivers and encourages them to slow down.

Similar crossings have already been tested in other countries including Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States – and New Delhi in India, where evaluation suggests average speeds dropped by as much as 40%.

However, Westminster Council says this is the first time the ‘major new safety measure has been tried out in the UK’.

Westminster City Council says if the trials prove successful, the new crossings could be rolled out across the rest of the borough.

Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for environment and city management, said: “Our 3D zebra crossing could be the future of road safety across the country and once again Westminster City Council is at the forefront in innovation in bringing this type of crossing to the UK.  

“Far from being simply a brilliant innovation that makes the ordinary look eye-grabbing and modern – the 3D effect helps drivers to see the crossing easier.”



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    Not quite right Nigel. Generally a driver must give precedence to any pedestrian on a crossing and allow them to pass first. It was held in the case of Kayser -v- London Passenger Transport Board [1950] 1 All ER 231 where the Court ruled that where a driver is satisfied that the persons on the crossing are out of danger from them, they may proceed at a reasonable speed.

    However it still leaves it open for a possible prosecution but one which may fail due to that ruling.

    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    Anyone seen any evaluation on similar trials/schemes elsewhere. Have looked at this kind of thing – good PR (hopefully at least) to start with and at least gets people thinking but been put off by possible distraction/unpredicatable reaction issues. Would they still need an experimental traffic order from DfT – or similar – for this kind of variance from standard marking?

    Keith Baldock, Brighton
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    A side-point to this story is that motorists need to be aware that if any part of their vehicle is over a zebra cross whilst any part of a pedestrian is still on it the driver can be prosecuted.

    Nigel ALBRIGHT
    Agree (1) | Disagree (4)

    Looks well. Whatever next… paintings or mats looking like large potholes. That would certainly scare some drivers to slow down and lead to greater safety? Wouldn’t it? They have been used elsewhere but as yet not here.

    However thinking about it, trying to swerve to avoid hitting the false potholes at speed may cause some incidents and collisions with other vehicles and that could also involve pedestrians.

    Never mind just a thought.

    Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

    Shouldn’t the motorists’ approach speed be influenced by whether there are any pedestrians on or near the crossing anyway, rather than an illusion of bumps? If the idea is to slow motorists down anyway – albeit via an illusion – couldn’t they be used elsewhere where there is not necessarily a zebra crossing, especially if the trial shows definite speed reductions?

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

    I have seen these in various countries around the world. I don’t have any statistics on these, but it looks good, but fear that once the motorist knows its painted on the road, they will gradually increase their speed or just continue on without slowing down. Saying that, I am all for anything that reduces pedestrian injuries or fatalities on our roads.

    cliff malcolm short, Westcliff-on-Sea
    Agree (8) | Disagree (0)

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