Support our mission

I recently heard about a town in Germany that has removed all the traffic lights and stop signs in the city in an attempt to make the streets safer. What’s up with that?

Earlier this year, the western Germany town of Bohmte agreed to try the concept — which is also catching on in some other European cities — because too many traffic signs can be confusing to drivers, according to a Deutsche Welle report.

According to the report, Germany’s transport ministry approved of the plan.

"Many road signs are only put up so that we are covered for insurance purposes and not necessarily because they provide the driver with useful information," said Jörg Hennerkes from the ministry to Deutsche Welle.

The theory is that people will pay more attention if there are fewer traffic signs.

But does it work?

It might be too early to tell, but town Mayor Klaus Goedejohann recently told ABC News that there hasn’t been an accident in town lately.

"There were about 50 accidents a year at the town’s main intersection before the change, but now we haven’t seen any. That is certainly a good sign that the new concept works well," Goedejohann was quoted as saying in the report.

And the residents seem to like it.

"I was rather skeptical at first, but it seems to work quite well," Jutta Luebbert told ABC. "It looks much more like a village street now, really nice."

Got a question about goings-on in Europe? E-mail: news@estripes.osd.mil


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up