Ban all road signs!

If you find yourself crossing the road in the German town of Bohmte, look both ways – and then perhaps check again.

It has scrapped all its traffic lights and road signs in a radical experiment designed to make the streets safer. Yesterday, the local council said the scheme was a complete success.

In the four weeks since the signs were ripped up, there has not been a single accident.

Officials wanted to test the theory that the 13,000 drivers who use the town every day would take extra care and show each other greater consideration if they were not told what to do.

They secured a £1.8million grant from the European Union to set up the scheme in the town near Hanover.

Four weeks ago, Bohmte banned traffic lights and warning signs, including those instructing drivers to give way or stop.

Only two rules remain – drivers cannot go above 30 mph, the German speed limit for city driving, and everyone has to yield to the right, regardless of whether it is a car, a bike or a mother with a pushchair.

Officials revealed there have been no shunts, bumps or pedestrian injuries in the month since the scheme started.

Previously, there was at least one serious crash every week and scores of lesser 'fender-benders'.

The scheme, based on the idea of 'shared space' from Dutch traffic expert Hans Monderman, will now continue indefinitely. The mayor, Klaus Goedejohann, said: 'Politeness pays – we have proved that.'

Source: Daily Mail

What do you think of the scheme? Do you think it would work in other towns or cities?

What are you like as a driver? Do you respect road signs? What traffic offences do you commit?

Vocabulary Practice

Complete the following sentences with a form of a green word from the above text.

  1. We are going to have a picnic tomorrow __________ of the weather.
  2. I don't think it ____ to be honest. I told her she had given me too much change and she didn't even thank me.
  3. He got a _____ from the city council to start his own business.
  4. She was so angry that she ______ __ the contract in front of him.
  5. Smoking is ______ in all public buildings in most European countries now.
  6. She has always dreamed about _______ __ her own fashion store.
  7. The government will probably ____ the unpopular tax soon.
  8. He's so tall that he often gets _____ to his head!