These rather jaunty pedestrian traffic lights are among the few aspects of daily life in the former East Germany to be accepted after reunification (and it took a bit of a battle). Well, that and the cardboard-and-two-stroke Trabant car, which are now to be seen travelling in convoy as a tourist ride.
Which is by way of observing that, yes, even if there are no cars apparently in the vicinity, Berliners stop and wait for the green man before crossing the road. But this isn't necessarily a sign of undue obedience to authority. Many roads in Berlin are broad, straight avenues, and German drivers are keen on the accelerator. If you don't watch the lights in Berlin, you'll find it's even more true than in Britain that, as a learned judge once said, there are two sorts of pedestrians - the quick and the dead.
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