Smiley Face Illegal

4.7.2011
Words by Paul Fontaine
The smilies which adorn the traffic lights on Lækjargata will have to be taken down, as it turns out they violate existing traffic laws.

Visitors to Reykjavík may have noticed the traffic lights at Lækjargata, Bankastræti and Austurstræti, which feature smilies corresponding to red and green. As fun as they may be to look at, the city has decided that they are a traffic hazard, and against the law besides, Eyjan reports.

Karl Sigurðsson, the chairman of the city transport and environmental committee, said the lights will be changed on the behest of the police. He also says that the idea is not completely dead, but rather that city council will try and come up with a workable solution.

"It was not in accordance with laws regarding traffic," he said, "which allows for no deviation from traditional traffic signals. Interesting to note, though, that the heart has been used in traffic lights in Akureyri without a problem."

Gunnar Hilmarsson, captain of city police, said that while he could not name a traffic incident that was caused by the smilie traffic lights, the police believed that the lights did endanger the safety of drivers.
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