Those who do not recognize the signs.
Drivers stand haphazardly in front of the city police
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- Author Christian Reinartz
In Offenbach some traffic lights are out. At the intersections in question, the city police regulate traffic – the signs confuse many motorists.
Offenbach – Because the traffic lights are currently being adjusted at many intersections in Offenbach, city police officers are taking over traffic control. This leads to problems, because many drivers apparently no longer understand the gestures of the police officers. The result: unsure drivers hold up traffic because they don’t know when they are allowed to drive.
City police officers respond with hands and feet. "We sometimes have to wave and wave there before a motorist realizes that he is now allowed to drive," explains a member of the city police force. In principle, however, this situation is also clearly regulated in the road traffic regulations. "In addition to the usual signs, we may also use direct instructions and individual signs when regulating traffic," he says.
Offenbach: Signs of the city police must be obeyed – regardless of traffic lights
According to the road traffic regulations, these are even considered to be the highest traffic sign in the order of precedence. If a policeman is standing at the intersection directing traffic, all other traffic signs or traffic lights are overridden, no matter what they indicate. If there is no traffic policeman, the traffic light system follows in the instruction ranking, followed by traffic signs. The last thing that comes into effect is the right-before-left rule, explains city police officer.
Boris Hafner, owner of the Offenbach driving school Trenkler, knows the uncertainties of the drivers in the traffic. And he makes it clear: "Everyone who gets a driver’s license in Germany is taught the signs of the traffic police."These would also be asked in the theoretical examination. "However, almost no one ever makes a mistake there," says Hafner. "After all, they are self-explanatory."
Fewer and fewer drivers in Offenbach know the signs of the city police
Nevertheless, the knowledge of the meaning seems to be forgotten when there really is a traffic policeman at the intersection. Hafner sees the reason for this primarily in the lack of routine on the part of the drivers. "In the past, it was completely normal to see something like that in traffic," he says. "Today something like this is an absolute rarity."This is mainly due to the ever-improving technology of traffic lights, he says. In the meantime, modern LED technology would not even break the bulbs. Consequently, nothing would have to be replaced.
In addition, according to Hafner, there is a large number of drivers who have acquired their driver’s license abroad. Hafner: "Especially here in Offenbach there are a lot of nations and consequently a lot of people who are confused by the signs."
City police instead of traffic lights: In Offenbach there are delays in the flow of traffic
At the city police station near Berliner Strabe, the lack of routine is seen rather with a twinkling eye. City police chief Lothar Haack: "It’s not like my people can’t make themselves noticed", he says. „If there is a problem and a road user does not interpret the signs correctly, the driver is waved until he understands what is meant.“ In addition, all order police officers would have completed a special training course of several days in traffic regulation. Major problems would therefore never occur. „To delays in traffic flow, however, sometimes it did.“ (Christian Reinartz)
In Offenbach, numerous traffic lights are being renewed. This not only improves the flow of traffic but also the air quality.