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 Very Well-Known 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 Very Well-Known 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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