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OFFBEAT

Danes want pedestrians to use hand signals

A national association for pedestrians says that those getting around on foot should also have to signal their intentions in traffic.

Danes want pedestrians to use hand signals
The Danish Pedestrian Association said there is "no need to feel silly" about signalling a turn. Photo: Colourbox
A long-running gag amongst Denmark’s international community is to poke fun at Danes who wait obediently for a green light before walking across the street – even at an absolutely deserted intersection. But even that level of vigilant safety is apparently not enough for the Danish Pedestrian Society (Dansk Fodgænger Forbund – DFF). 
 
 
DFF wants to encourage pedestrians to display their intentions when crossing the street by using their arms to signal right and left turns. 
 
“We are so good at yelling at all the others here in the association but here is an opportunity to take the lead and be a good example. You don’t need to feel silly just because you show some consideration,” DFF chairman Mikael le Dous told news agency Ritzau. 
 
Le Dous wants pedestrians to signal their intention to turn when they can see that vehicles or bicycles are waiting for them. 
 
“Pedestrians shouldn’t be exempt. We should also be a part of getting traffic to run smoothly,” he said. 
 
Le Dous said the arm signals would be a way for pedestrians to say “thank you for showing consideration but you don’t need to wait for me”. 
 
DFF wants to repeat its message until arm signals become a natural part of the Danish pedestrian experience. 
 
“It needs to sink in because this is something completely new. Some will dismiss it but I’d be surprised if we can’t get people to think this is a good idea in the long run,” le Dous told Ritzau. 
 
If DFF gets its way, will we soon see Danes briskly holding out their right arm on an empty street after they’ve spent two minutes waiting for the green pedestrian light? 

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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Danish government calls for end to hoarding

Denmark's government has called on people to stop hoarding food and other essentials after supermarkets were hit by a sudden rush on Wednesday night.

Coronavirus: Danish government calls for end to hoarding
Shoppers in Ringsted. Photo. A collage of empty shelves in Danish supermarkets after a spate of hoarding on Wednesday night. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Scanpix
“We encourage people to shop normally and to follow the current advice,” Food Minister Mogens Jensen said at a press meeting on Thursday morning.  “There is no problem with the security of supply at our stores, but there is a problem with hoarding.” 
 
Following the announcement of far-reaching measures to slow the spread of coronavirus on Wednesday night, supermarkets across Denmark faced an onslaught of shoppers, stripping the shelves of some items. 
 
The panic to secure supplies was so intense that police were called to a branch of Netto in Odense on the island of Funen, and to a supermarket in southern Jutland where a group of customers refused to leave at closing time, according to Denmark's state broadcaster DR.  
 
A collage of empty shelves in Danish supermarkets after a spate of hoarding on Wednesday night. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Scanpix. 
 
Danish Twitter was on Wednesday night and Thursday morning filled with images of supermarket queues and empty shelves. 
 
 
 
The country's leading supermarkets, Salling Group, Coop, Dagrofa and Rema 1000, on Wednesday a joint press release assuring consumers that they had adequate supplies of all products, asking them not to change their shopping habits. 
 
“We will all throughout the supermarket industry make sure that we remain continuously stocked,” Dagrofa said in a tweet. 
 
Simon Kollerup, Denmark's Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, on Thursday urged “calm and sanity”. 
 
“The government is in close contact with the retailers and the government, and the message from the supermarkets is clear: The shops are open as usual,” he told the Ritzau newswire. “There are items in stock and the trucks are operating as normal. There are enough goods for everyone.” 
 
 
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