Traffic mimes in Caracas, Venezuela

The Huffington Post and other media recently carried stories about the use of traffic mimes in CARACAS, the capital city. The job of the mimes is “tame lawless traffic”. About 120 mimes dressed in clown-like outfits wagged their fingers at traffic violators and pedestrians who streaked across busy avenues. Apparently in Caracas motorcycles “roar down sidewalks”, buses drop passengers in the middle of busy streets and drivers treat red lights and speed limits as suggestions rather than orders. Other examples include drivers who miss a highway exit put their cars in reverse and return through oncoming traffic. According to one mime “most people react agreeably and some have offered compliments.” The mime experiment is based on the ideas of the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, who combined mimes and stricter police enforcement in a program that was widely seen as a success.

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