Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
German town abolishes traffic lights, signs and codes. Everything got better and safer.
Display Avatars Sort By:
K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
German town abolishes traffic lights, signs and codes. Everything got better and safer. on 11/15/2013 18:49:24 MST Print View

Kinda fun to watch :)

Edited by Kat_P on 11/15/2013 19:36:15 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
signs on 11/21/2013 08:44:36 MST Print View

These are Germans, though :)

Random observations:

In America, you come to a cross walk. The signal is red for DO NOT WALK. If you are a typical American, you look both ways, see there is no traffic and cross.

When I was in Rome and points south in Italy a few years back, I soon realized the traffic signals in general are just suggestions at best. Sign says DO NOT WALK and there are mopeds, cars running by, horns honking? Just walk. Don't close your eyes, pause or show fear. Just walk across and enjoy the colorful vocabulary hurled your way by the locals. Mind you, the locals walking across the streets with you are also hurling colorful vocabulary back, too.

Two years ago, I met my German in-laws. 7pm or so at night in Dusseldorf, my wife, her good friends and I came to a cross walk.. Their was no traffic to speak of. I did the American thing, looked both ways and crossed the quiet street despite having a DO NOT CROSS signal. I thought my wife's childhood friend was going to have a heart attack. She actually said "Nein!" despite her speaking English quite well and immediately told me I had to wait for "the green man".

So no traffic problems in Germany once they abolish signs? Somehow, I am not surprised.
Try that in America? Good luck!
In southern Italy? Won't matter a bit. What's the difference??? ;)

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: signs on 11/21/2013 09:07:30 MST Print View

Not long after I was stationed in Germany, I rented a car with a few buddies to go on a road trip. I had never seen a car with the rear fog light before this and apparently the person who had the car before us left it on. While it's common to see people inexplicably driving around on a clear day with their fog lights on here in the U.S., this is a no-go in Germany. I know this from the dozen or so Germans who passed us on the Autobahn who were frantically waving their hands at us and appeared to be losing their $%!+.

Assuming that we must have unknowingly been dragging a dead body behind the car, we pulled over to see what the fuss was all about. We finally made the connection that there were one too many red lights on in the rear and found the switch to shut it off.

Quite a bit different than my experience in Phnom Penh where my first time in one of their Tuk Tuks, the driver took off into oncoming traffic for an entire city block before he casually meandered over to the right side of the road. I haven't been to every country in Asia but I believe Cambodia's reputation for having the worst drivers on that continent is probably true.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 11/25/2013 15:44:26 MST.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Don't do this... on 11/21/2013 16:52:46 MST Print View

When in Los Angeles some years ago, i flipped the bird to another driver who drove like a complete moron - i was later told by my American friends that i should never do that again - "i could have been shot!"...

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Germany on 11/25/2013 15:16:29 MST Print View

Q: Do you know why crime is so rare in Germany?

A: It's against the law.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: signs on 11/25/2013 17:34:50 MST Print View


My summary of Italian (especially Central and Southern Italy) driving styles are that everything is downgraded at least one level. Red lights become stop signs, stop signs become yield signs, yield signs are ignored.


From the video: "Motorists think for themselves" reminds me of something Michigan instituted some years ago. The work zone signs read something like, "Double Traffic fines and reduced speed (55 to 35, say) when workers are PRESENT." I found myself really looking for road workers because that dictated if I could drive more quickly or not. And I thought, "Wow!, I'm really more focused on possible workers in the right of way - this seems to work well!"

I caught a radio report that the data from the first year was now in. I forget the exact numbers but injuries to workers was markedly down. Like from 60 to 25 - something that distinctly better.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: German town abolishes traffic lights, signs and codes. Everything got better and safer. on 11/26/2013 08:19:10 MST Print View

See the Freakonomics podcast on skating rinks... (just released)
How no rules lead to self organization.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
no stop signs on 11/26/2013 13:14:09 MST Print View

I wonder if it might work here in Berkeley. Half of the drivers view stop signs as a suggestion, the other half as an affront to their independence.