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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Traffic Lights: the North Korean Alternative


We had a visit from a group from North Korea this week. Always slightly scary to know that you are on their database.

We have never been to Pyongyang (although we nearly did once) but apparently they do not have traffic lights there. Instead they employ rather smart uniformed girls at every junction. They don't seem to have any protection from the traffic, they just stand in little circles painted on the road, blow their whistles and wave their batons in a pre-set way which indicates the equivalent of red, amber and green. Indeed, North Korean drivers have to learn these signals as part of their driving test.

Presumably they use girls because they are cheaper and quicker to replace than traffic lights if they get hit by a large lorry carrying yet another statue of the Leader.

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