Conventional wisdom will tell us that if you take out traffic lights and road rules such as speed limits then there would be chaos in the streets. This article will show you why this is a false assumption.
People in the town of Dracthten in Netherlands have decided to take out all the traffic lights and signs in their roads. This traffic experiment they called “shared space” was an effort that made people more aware and careful of their driving. The residents of Dracthen said they would now drive slower and safer because they recognize that their safety and the safety of others is in their hands. This “shared space” initiative teaches people respect and personal responsibility. The town that had an average of 8 major accidents in a year and now that number has been reduced to zero.
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Another example would be the popular highway in Germany known as Autobahn. In Autobahn there is merely an advisory speed limit but in general there really are no limits. Driving at really fast speeds is something that is very common in Autobahn. Interesting enough, this highway is statistically safer and has less accidents than those of its Austrian or Swiss counterpart.
People always think that more government regulation and more authority is the precursor to order. They think that more policing and more restrictions is always the solution. The problem is that this is all not necessarily true and the examples given above testify to this fact. We should really rethink our road policies and driving values and stop relying on the government or authorities to tell us what to do.
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Instead of driving safer because of the fear of getting caught by authority, we can all start recognizing that we live amongst each other in a shared space. We are responsible for each other’s safety and that it is all about respect.
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