• Kyodo

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A specially painted crosswalk made to appear as if it is three-dimensional to catch the attention of drivers and get them to slow down was opened near an elementary school in Kyoto Prefecture on Monday as the school restarted after the summer vacation.

The stripes of the crosswalk, at which there are no traffic lights, are painted not just in white but also dark red and appear to the eye to be floating in the air. It was the brainchild of Kyoto Sangyo University students.

In a ceremony to mark the opening, a police officer explained how the “3D” crosswalk was developed to pupils at Chiyokawa Elementary School in the city of Kameoka.

The pupils traversed the crosswalk greeting officials who held up placards warning drivers against speeding.

Kohei Yamashita, 21, one of the university students who devised the unique crosswalk, said, “We used examples from overseas as a reference. Seeing the children actually crossing at the crosswalk, I think it will be quite effective.”

Hiroki Matsuda, head of the traffic section at the Kameoka Police Station, said, “This is a fresh idea that only students can come up with,” adding he hopes it will help raise awareness among drivers that pedestrians should take priority.

Many drivers do not stop their cars at crosswalks in Japan, although they are required by law to do so whenever there are pedestrians or those on bicycles crossing or about to cross, and they can be fined for violations.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Japan Automobile Federation, the average rate of cars stopping at crosswalks without traffic lights was 21.3% nationwide, while the figure stood at 19.9% in Kyoto Prefecture.

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