- Photo Credit: Harvard Gazette
When Antanas Mockus served as mayor of Bogotá (Colombia’s capital and largest city), he employed a Hand It-style solution to improve the behavior of drivers and pedestrians. He hired 20 professional mimes to use their gestures to mock rule-breaking pedestrians and ridicule reckless drivers. This program grew to ~400 mimes and successfully combined social pressure with Hand It gestures to improve traffic safety. The Harvard Gazette discussed this story among other innovative tactics used by Mockus during his tenure as mayor.
In 2011, Venezuela modeled a program based on the Bogotá experiment by having mimes serve as traffic cops. Hand It gestures such as “wagging the finger” were employed to give instant feedback to drivers and pedestrians.