A town in Germany has abolished all traffic laws, signs, and crosswalks. Sound like a recipe for bumper cars meets demolition derby? Not according to town officials. In fact, getting rid of all the laws has had the exact opposite effect — by allowing drivers and pedestrians to make all of their own decisions about what's safe, one stretch of road that used to see 45 accidents a year and traffic jams, has become smooth and safe, and drivers have slowed down overall.
The plan is called "Share Space" and exists in towns in England and Holland as well. The idea is that everyone on the road including pedestrians and cyclists have equal rights — no sidewalks even! Local police say that without rules, people — wait for it — think for themselves (!) and communicate more and assume the responsibility of powering a huge pile of metal. Though locals say it took a bit to get used to the freedom and responsibility, it's increased safety and renewed a village-y atmosphere.
Does it make sense that by removing laws intended to increase safety, lawlessness actually makes a bigger difference? Could this phenomenon apply to other places and types of laws as well? Should it?