Mimes Hired to Act Like Traffic Cops in Venezuela

Instead of a crack down to tame its unruly drivers, cops in Venezuela’s capital have taken an crack ’em up approach.

About 120 mimes were dispatched into the chaotic traffic capital of Caracas to wag their fingers and silently shame lawless drivers, according to the Associated Press.  Newly-trained mimes, dressed in clown-like costumes complete with face paint and white gloves, descended on busy intersections in the city’s eastern district of Sucre starting last week, and urged pedestrians and drivers to obey traffic rules.

Some silently mocked drivers, miming to those behind the wheel to buckle up, or gestured to motorcyclists to stop at the red light in front of them. Others chastised jaywalkers or helped pedestrians cross the street.

While the approach may seem odd, it’s a traffic-taming effort that has proven successful in other Latin American countries, including Colombia’s traffic-ridden capital of Bogota.

Carlos Ocariz, the mayor of Sucre, said he turned to the mimes to encourage civility. According to the AP, he will stick with the campaign until “until the streets of Sucre are full of creativity and education.”

So will mimes cure Caracas’ notorious traffic problem? Maybe in the long-term. Until then, it makes for a fun picture of the day.