What Caused the Traffic Fatalities in Bogotá, Colombia, to Fall So Dramatically?

When former university professor Antanas Mockus became mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, in 1995, one of his first targets was the extremely high rate of traffic fatalities in the city. Rather than adopting typical law enforcement measures, however, Mockus took the unorthodox route of hiring 420 mimes to make fun of bad drivers, hoping to shame them into correcting their ways. It worked. Traffic deaths dropped by half, proving the mayor's social theory to be correct -- Colombians are more afraid of being ridiculed than being cited for bad driving. Mockus's innovative leadership style also extended to taking showers on TV to demonstrate how to conserve water, and asking Bogotá residents to voluntarily pay higher taxes. He was successful in both of these efforts, as well, as water usage dropped by 40 percent and tax revenues tripled.

What Colombia has to offer:

  • Colombia is unique among South American countries in that it touches both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

  • Colombia is home to 1,826 species of birds -- the most of any country on Earth.

  • Bogotá has over 186 miles (300 km) of bike paths, making it South America's most cycling-friendly city.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info: The Harvard Gazette

Discuss this Article

Post 1

Leader asks, nation responds. But they get benefits in return for their listening. I like this philosophy, it works in business world well too.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

According to Forbes, there are 2,208 billionaires in the world. In 2017, someone became a billionaire every 2 days.  more...
March 18 ,  1766 :  Parliament repealed the Stamp Act.  more...