Trivia: Why Are Traffic Lights Red, Yellow And Green

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Joe Riley, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    ".....Our subject is Traffic Lights. A traffic light is one of the most common things which you will find on a road. It is an invention made for organizing the traffic flow and every driver must obey it. If the light goes green you may pass, if it’s red you have to halt and if it’s yellow then you must behave with caution".

    "A person who drives daily can’t imagine driving from home to office without a traffic light. But do you know there was an era when there was no concept of traffic lights? Surely this was the same period when there was no concept of cars as well, however, let’s just pretend I didn’t say that".

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    "Let’s come back to the initial para of my article, as I said there are a few clear rules which one has to follow every time you get in the car. Traffic lights are same all around the world. They have the same three colors in every country on this planet. Green signifies for “Go”, red means “Stop” and yellow or orange means “Be Careful”.

    "But here is the question which bothers me the most, why are all the traffic lights green, red and yellow? Why aren’t they some other color? There are many pretty colors like purple, magenta, pink, turquoise etc. There are many arguments on this subject, but before I take you to the main topic, let’s take a short glimpse at the history of traffic lights".
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Joe Riley

    My neighbor, who is color-blind, told me of the difficulty he had in New Mexico, where many traffic signals were mounted horizontally, instead of vertically, with red always at the top!\
    Frank
     
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  3. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    @Joe Riley's post made me a bit curious, so I decided to look around. After doing so I see that America has it easy. Some countries have systems that would have Einstein's noodle spinning. I also found out that Japan uses blue. Our use of blue generally means police.

    Here's a couple of signals best left to a taxi driver.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
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  4. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    My husband is color blind at times and I'm sure he would have difficulty in identifying if the colors in the traffic light is changed. With the blue and violet, there's no way he could tell apart, he would just say blue. With the red color, there's no other red for him but just red. Maybe the inventors of the traffic lights have color blind people for their testing.

    The red and green colors are normally used to mean stop and go, respectively. But in Makati, the business district of Metro Manila, they are using orange and white for the pedestrian signal. Stop when orange and white when go. We were kind of confused when we first saw it last month because we are used to the red and green.
     
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  5. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The article deals with color blindness:

    "Since the red and green sightlessness is the most common form of optical impairment, the red light these days come with a tinge of orange, which lets the color blind people see the stop signal. Similarly, the green light comprises of a tinge of blue, serving the equal purpose".

    Maybe Orange and Blue are easier to distinguish, for a driver with color blindness. Maybe we live in an orange & blue World?
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Joe Riley

    The color-blind guy I knew served in the Navy. Claimed his visual acuity was better than 20-20.
     
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  7. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Phantom intersections, traffic snakes, and why self driving cars may eliminate the need for traffic lights. .. Just watch out for chickens! :eek:

    (Be patient)


    Another animation

     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Self-driving cars = a way of ensuring that people stay in debt perpetually, with the added benefit of controlling the ability of people to travel.
     
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  9. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Well-Known Member
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    Here is one traffic light where the green will always be on the top thanks to the Irish stone throwers.

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    The Irish area of Syracuse, called Tipperary Hill, is the home to the world-renowned upside-down traffic light where the green light hangs over the red-light.

    The park is named after the "Stone Throwers" - a group of young Irish patriots who became infamous in 1925 for refusing to allow the green to hang below the red at the now famous traffic light located at Tompkins and Milton Aves. as a sign of their loyalty to Ireland. After repeatedly refitting the broken glass, the city finally gave up and permanently put the green on top, for the worlds only green-over-red signal light.
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  11. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    These caveman lights can be found in Krabi Town, Thailand. The limestone caves in the region used to be inhabited by Neanderthals, so the lights pay tribute to local history.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Fascinating, I didn't know that!! I must go and visit Syracuse to see that
     
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  14. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Well-Known Member
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  15. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Let's bring back traffic cops!

    M. Kumar - A traffic constable from Chennai (Madras), India. There are several others that dance and show off a lot, but this man seems to be a real hero with the local folks.



    Salute to the Cop (with translation).
    .
    .
     
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  16. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    In Pittsburgh, we had Vic Cianca;)
     
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  17. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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  18. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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  19. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Did you also serve the Navy, Frank?

    Hal
     
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  20. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner
    I did not. Serve, that is. It was close. I received the Notice to Appear for Armed Forces Physical Exam not long after my 26th. birthday, but a murder-suicide occurred before the physical exam which placed me in custody of two children. They re-classified me to 3-A, I think it was, no military service due to dependent children. I've often wondered if my father in law saved my life by taking his own. Viet Nam was then raging.
    Frank
     
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  21. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  22. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Traffic Light Tree - London

     
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  23. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Well-Known Member
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    In Detroit, the early traffic lights were manually operated, similar to the one below.

    I read a story years ago that when the traffic cops saw the founder of General Motors, William C. Durant, personal automobile coming down the street they automatically flipped the light to green so his car never had to stop at a light. I don't know if the story is true or not but I tend to believe it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    STOP.... in the name of Love!
    [​IMG]

     
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  25. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Trivia: The first electric traffic light system in the U.S. was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 5, 1914, had separate red and green lights, and was operated by a person in a booth nearby.

    [​IMG]

    Source
     
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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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