Driving Without Traffic Lights In Addis Ababa

Driving Without Traffic Lights In Addis Ababa

Videos of a huge intersection in Addis Ababa have surfaced intermittently on the web that show drivers and pedestrians appearing to do amazingly well without traffic lights.

How does it work? Or perhaps a better question is: does it work? You be the judge with this video from Hebre Zema Ethio.

Here are some things people said on AmericaBlog about the same intersection without traffic lights in Africa and how it might/could/does/couldn’t work elsewhere around the world:

aachrisg: “This video is sped up. Pedestrians and cars successfully navigate the car traffic because it’s slow. Seems a lot less efficient than having a traffic light. I haven’t been to Ethiopia, but have seen similar things in Indonesia and PNG. You end up kind of amazed at how well it works, but traffic lights and walk signs work WAY better.”

Naja Pallida: “Most American drivers can’t even seem to handle a standard four-way stop. Something like this would just send them over the edge. There would be like 30 cars piled up in the intersection with a bunch of people foaming at the mouth and white-knuckling their steering wheel.”

Indigo: “If everybody’s paying attention and driving defensively, it can work. Not in Florida, of course, but maybe somewhere else in the States.”

D C: “I am from Addis Ababa. Actually there is a traffic light in Meskel square. This video is not a normal recording. It is in a fast-forward mode. I have lived there for six years and I haven’t seen the square a single day without the traffic light not working.”