German town bans road signs for safer streets
London, June 25 : Always thought traffic signals and road signs help in managing traffic and averting accidents on road. Well, a German town believes quite the contrary- they are banning road signs and traffic lights to make the streets safer.
Officials at the town of Bohmte, near Hanover think that the removal of signs would compel the drivers to take extra care and show each other more consideration.
And it seems the bizarre experiment is reaping positive results, for there have not been reported any accident since the signs were pulled out last month as against at least one serious crash every week before the change.
"Politeness pays - we have proved that," The Telegraph quoted town mayor, Klaus Goedjohann, as saying.
After getting a 1.8m pounds European Union grant to remove all its traffic lights and warning signs, Bohmte is now seeing its 13,000 driver follow only two road traffic rules- do not exceed the 30mph speed limit and always give way to the right, whether it is a car, bike or pedestrian.
According to a police officer in charge of traffic planning, Peter Hilbricht, almost 50 accidents were recorded in a year at the town's main intersection before the change.
"The number plummeted. It has been a sea-change in German attitudes as much as anything else," he said.
Based on a Dutch traffic expert's idea of "shared space," this radical scheme will soon be implemented in Britain and one would see London's Exhibition Road soon turn into "naked road" next year.