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2020.01.09 09:00

Green arrow signs allowed indefinite return in Lithuania

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS 2020.01.09 09:00

Days after removing green arrow signs which allowed drivers to turn right on red, the Lithuanian government backtracked on the measure, allowing cities to reinstall the signs.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet reversed its previous resolution which ordered the removal of the green arrows as of January 1. The measure led to an outcry from drivers and municipalities.

Transport Minister Jaroslav Narkevič said on Tuesday that municipalities would be allowed to reinstall the green arrows for a year, but the Cabinet decided not to set any time limits.

According to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, municipalities were given five years to prepare for the change, but some of them did not report any problems before it took effect.

“They slept through [the preparation period] and woke up [now]. If we extend it for a year, we'll face the same situation again,” the prime minister told the Cabinet.

The green arrow signs, allowing drivers to turn right at a red light, were removed from all intersections in Lithuania in early January, but local authorities in Vilnius and other cities say the measure has increased traffic congestion and has done little to improve safety.

The Transport Ministry suggested removing the green arrow signs back in 2014 after a study carried out in Kaunas linked them to higher numbers of traffic accidents involving injuries or fatalities.