When green arrow traffic experts see red

Auto News

Motorists love him, pedestrians and Bicycle riders to hate him – for 40 years, road users have been arguing over the green arrow. Experts see the characters becoming increasingly critical.


The green arrow Peter Struben has a clear opinion. “Where he hangs at traffic lights, should be better a bright green Skull and crossbones on metal plate”, – says the expert of the pedestrian Association foot e. V.”, The green arrow is dangerous, often illegal, appropriate and undermines the Ethical,” says Struben. With the club Chairman Arndt Schwab, he has published a new study that examined the dangers of the green arrow, which allows the right turn on a red light,.

A result of the study: At intersections with green arrow increased accident risk prevails. The evaluation of 505 crossings in Germany has shown that each of the 169 studied, green arrow intersections on average in three years, 20 accidents with damage to persons. At traffic lights without an arrow, this value was only 14. The reason for this Struben looks to be in contempt of the green arrow regulations.

“I’ve been stood at traffic lights, where the rules were almost broken in a matter of seconds,” says Struben. This includes, among other things, that the green arrow may only be placed in locations where the right turn adequate visibility to the shared directions of traffic and pedestrians and cyclists in a timely manner.

Many motorists ignore, according to Struben in addition, the requirement to stop at a green arrow and a red light to the line before the pedestrian crossing and to make sure that no pedestrians or cyclists to cross. Anyone who drives without to keep, must reckon with a fine of 70 Euro and one point in Flensburg. Other transport disabled participants or vulnerable, increases the fine up to 150 euros. “But this is never checked, even though 75 percent of all motorists adhere to this rule,” says Struben.

The arrow as a relic of the reunification of

Similarly, it looks at the German road safety Council (DVR): “Many drivers often do not know that you need to keep to the line, or ignore the control simply. And then it will be dangerous,” says Detlev Lippard, traffic expert of the DVR. “It must also be ensured that the green arrow is clearly visible for all,” says Lippard.

A further danger lies in the fact that the small sheet metal plate is often mounted so that cyclists are able to recognize it. So-called spirit of cyclists coming from the wrong direction, also represent a further risk, since they could not see the arrow at all. “Generally, we are of the opinion that the green arrows are not necessary. For the motorist you are, if at all, only a small time saver,” says Lippard. Measured in terms of the risks for other traffic participants is irrelevant. “In addition, the green arrow is rather the result of a political concession to the former GDR.”

Indeed, the small metal plate was used with a green arrow in 1978, for the first time in the GDR. The allowed right turn on Red language of the international conventions on road traffic law. After the German unit, the shield was also used in the old länder, in order to accelerate the turn-off operation of the motorists and to avoid traffic jams.

Motorists do not save time

This effect fizzles out, according to a study by the accident research of the insurers (UDV) already at the next traffic light. There is to be obtained by the car drivers, who have waited for Green to use instead of the advantages of the arrow. “The green arrow is, therefore, purely objective, a redundant road signs considered,” according to the UDV. “It also contradicts the efforts of cities to promote walking and Cycling and make the roads accessible. Therefore, his arrangement should be requested always critical.”

According to the estimates of the UDV, there is currently, in Germany approximately 5000 green arrows, overall, the characters are on the retreat and will be removed. This threatens the arrow so that after 40 years? Maybe. However, in the meantime, discussions over a similar, new arrow – and for cyclists. After Cycling in the Netherlands since 1990, a green arrow for right turn on Red, has also agreed to the Berlin state government on a two-year test phase for the cyclists-arrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.