Tuesday, July 31, 2007

German Schilderwald (Sign Forest) Distracts Drivers

For nearly a decade, Germany's 15 million-member ADAC automobile association has been curb-crawling the nation's streets with municipal officials in an effort to persuade them to get rid of as much as half the country's estimated 20 million traffic signs. Many Germans believe the country's signage has become so dense that it's a safety hazard. A recent study concluded that the distracting signs keep drivers from watching the road.

Germans have coined a term for the phenomenon -- Schilderwald, or sign forest. But as the van-load of officials touring Troisdorf for surplus signs discovered on a recent morning, parting with them isn't proving easy.


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