These are Germans, though :)
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??? ;)