Some cool websites with the most traffic images:
"Ampelmännchen (German: little traffic light man) is the symbolic person shown on pedestrian traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in the former GDR. The red Ampelmännchen extends his arms to signal "stop," and the green Ampelmännchen confidently strides ahead to signal "go."
The shapes of the Ampelmännchen are standardised, and indeed are conceptually similar to those used in other countries. Prior to reunification of Germany there were different forms used in the two German states, with those originating in the former East Germany being particularly distinctive. In contrast to the generic human figure used in West Germany, the figure in the east is generally held to be male, and wears a hat. In the Socialist East Germany, the Ampelmännchen became a character on an East German television program used in drivers’ education.
Following German unification, there were attempts to standardise all traffic signals to the West German forms, leading to calls to save the East German Ampelmännchen. It thus became a kind of mascot for the East German nostalgia movement, known as Ostalgie. The protests were successful, and the Ampelmännchen returned to pedestrian crossings, including some in western districts of Berlin. Some western German cities, such as Saarbrücken, have since adopted the design. "
The East Berlin Ampelmann was created in 1961 by traffic psychologist, Karl Peglau. He theorised that people would respond better to the traffic signals if they were presented by a friendly character, instead of meaningless coloured lights. However, Peglau is said to have feared initially that the design might be rejected because of its "petit bourgeois" hat.
In 2004, a female counterpart, the Ampelfrau (woman) , appeared in Zwickau. It can now also be found in Dresden.
In Düsseldorf we have the standardised european one.
In most countries, the sequence is red (stop), green (go), amber (prepare to stop). In the UK, amber officially means ‘stop’ (unless it would cause an accident to do so) but in practice, is treated as ‘prepare to stop’. In Germany, among others, the sequence includes red and amber together before green, which helps draw attention to the impending change to green, to allow drivers to prepare to move off.
The Ampelmann even has its own website 🙂 www.ampelmann.de/index_english.html