Pranksters on the east side of Reykjavík gave marijuana the green light on Thursday, placing a cannabis leaf-shaped stencil atop the green traffic light at the intersection of Langholtsvegur and Álfheimar, RÚVreports. Páll Sigurðsson, an electrical engineer in the city’s traffic light service department, was unamused by the prank, but said that vandalism of traffic lights is uncommon in Reykjavík, as most people realize that the signals are important safety devices.
Although the stencil does cover some of the green light, it does not appear to impede drivers’ ability to recognize the signal at this time. Páll says that the city’s response will be simple: “We remove something like this immediately, regardless of what the image is. It’s very rare that something like this comes up, and this is definitely an exception to the rule.”
Páll went on to say that traffic lights should be respected and not subjected to such vandalism, for safety reasons. “This is naturally a safety issue. It’s just common sense not to mess around with them and most have sense enough not to.”
Traffic light stencils have been to put to similar, albeit state-approved use elsewhere in Iceland. The northern town of Akureyri installed red hearts in their traffic lights in 2008, “as a consequence of the finance crash…when there was a need for some positive thinking and to put emphasis on what really matters.”