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Drivers Use Own Judgement

 - Sep 17, 2007
Does being born German automatically qualify you as a good driver? One small town in Germany thinks so, trusting its citizens so much on the road that they have abolished all road signs. That's right, in Bohmte there are no more suggested speeds, no more stop signs, and no more cross-walk lights. The concept originated in the Netherlands where it has already proven successful in small communities.

Construction starts this week as traffic signs around the town of 13,500 are taken down. "Sidewalks will disappear, as will the asphalt, replaced by cobblestones," Spiegel reports. "Cycle lanes and sidewalks will be distinguished from the road only by color."

The idea was inspired by the EU's Shared Space concept. "Road users have to negotiate their behavior with each other, rather than have it prescribed by rules -- the idea being that people will pay more attention to what other road users are doing and hence cause fewer accidents."