Traffic Light Has Been Red for Nearly 30 Years
Also that color: the red tape requiring it remain that way in Germany
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2015 6:00 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A traffic light in Dresden, Germany, has been red for nearly 30 years now, and city officials say that won't change anytime soon. The light sits at the corner of Ziegelstraße street, and drivers have only one choice when they come to it—to turn "right on red" when it's safe to do so, explains the Local. Though the light is at the intersection of four streets, drivers are not allowed to go in any direction but right. Which raises the obvious question: Why not just put a stop sign there? That's where a Dresden official starts citing chapter and verse of local traffic regulations that don't seem to fully answer the common-sense question. “Stop signs do not correspond to traffic light systems and do not fulfill the same set of regulations,” is part of the answer.

The upshot is that Dresden spends about $6,200 a year to maintain the light, which has added up to about $170,000 since it was installed in 1987, back when East Germany still existed. And the crazier part is that the city replaces the yellow and green bulbs too, notes Yahoo News. "So much for German efficiency," snarks Metro UK, which found itself channeling Morrissey in its coverage ("There is a light that never goes out ...") The Local chalks it up to "a love of convoluted, self-defeating regulation." (Click to read why one-way streets might be more dangerous—and it's not just about traffic.)
 

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