Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I heard from one of our hosts last night that when driving in Naples, "there are three kinds of red lights. Some you must stop at or you will die. Some provide advice to be careful. Others are merely decoration." Seriously though, I have never seen so many drivers completely ignore traffic lights in my life.


Come to Bolivia : )

Come to Istanbul :))

Come to Massachusetts!USA AKA Boston. We're called the worlds worst drivers. Of Course, I don't think so. :)

There are good arguments for getting rid of traffic lights altogether in many circumstances.

No, go to Eygpt, there traffic lights literally are meant for decoration.

Go to Lagos, Nigeria :-)

I'm tempted to muse about how some creative locals might monetize Lagos' overlooked and underutilized traffic lights, perhaps by arranging for their surreptitious removal and transfer to some foreign country...

Naples is one of the world's better places for understanding where the border of law is.

Because Naples can be tragic without being serious.

In fact, Naples is fun.

But traffic in Naples is an example of an extremely bigger phenomenon. When you were here, we had four people killed. And a week before one was found dead without his head... Yes, like in Iraq...

Italy is a very important laboratory for understanding broken democracies and maybe you'll like to have news from here.

invertedly, lithuanian drivers are reasonably respectful of traffic lights despite being the worst drivers in the world. your gut is a ball of clenched muscle the whole time you're driving there; lithuania's the only place i've ever seen a 22-wheeler semi-trailer upside-down in the wrong-side ditch (next to/facing oncoming traffic) with people overtaking past it four abreast on a 1-lane-each-way road.

i suspect their respect for city traffic lights stems from their enlightened terror of how fast people might be attempting the green/yellow lights...

Driving for just 30 minutes in Seoul, Korea made me realize that the roadways in Seoul were just a big fighting pen. Any sign of weakness means you'll be pushed off the road.

Traffic light situation wasn't as bad in Seoul, but I think it's more of a herd behavior. All it takes is one guy to start or stop the run.

All that chaos is a lot more exciting than being stuck in slow moving traffic.

I was driving in Switzerland last week, when I came to a set of traffic lights that had somehow become stuck on red. The junction was deserted, but the cars in front of me took over 20 minutes to decide to go through the red lights.

I wonder how long it would have taken in Italy? 20 seconds? Maybe you could even classify different cultures by "amount of time taken to go through a traffic light stuck on red".

Personally, I have found Jamaicans to be among the worst drivers in the world. Picture if you will, 16 terrified tourists careening around mountain paths (they have the audacity to call them roads) whilst 300 feet below you lay shacks and a number of sharp rocks.

Of course, while all of this is going on, the driver is turned around facing the crowd regaling all with stories of jamican country life.

yes, italy have a very special kind of culture... ;-)

In Italy we don't like a lot the people that come form Napoli.

We think that the Napoli's people are too dirty and southern people.

Neapolitan is not a great adjective.


I am sure: Italy could simply bring down its state deficit to zero by punishing all car drivers who ignore

- red traffic lights

- STOP road signs

- speed limits

- double white lines

- No Passing sign

Go to Portugal. Some red lights just for decoration. And once, when Benfica, one of the Lisbon football clubs, played 2000 cars used the right lane of the highway for parking - doing all no to miss the match.

In Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, we have also a very interesting inertia relation to traffic lights. When a light turns green the first car usually takes 5-10 sec. to move very slowly, but as soon it turns red you can usually count up to five cars speeding trough the crossing.

It is common here for the lights to stuck on red so we wait merely 30 sec. to get to the conclusion :er-it is stuck again.

What I really did not understand in Napoli (its called Napoli in Macedonian too) how they hang their clothes and bed linens in such a unhealthy way above and on the streets.

In Beijing it is perfectly normal to open a fourth lane on the opposite side's biker's lane in rush hour. Of course you do not care for the red light anymore, as you can't see it...

I remember visiting Beijing in 1981 and if I remember correctly, there weren't any traffic lights. ;-)

Oh, there have been some changes since 1981, but I guess the chaos has only increased ;-)

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