Interesting facts about traffic lights and signals

Have you ever thought about traffic lights and signals besides mostly following and some times ignoring when cop was not around? If not then here is a quick opportunity for you to know about some interesting facts about traffic light.

Traffic Light History

  • In 1868, in London, a signal was installed at the intersection of George Street and Bridge street, near Parliament to provide a safe crossing to pedestrians. Signals were initially controlled by hand. Officers controlling traffic would blow a whistle to warn drivers that the signal was going to change.
  • Detroit policeman named Lester Wire first invented traffic signal in 1912 as a two-color, red-and-green light with a buzzer to warn pedestrians ahead of the impending transition. This basic design was later modified by another policeman named  William Potts to include third color amber.
  • The first electric traffic light system was installed on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, US on Aug-04-1914. That was installed with red and green lights and a buzzer to provide a warning that the colours were about the change.
  • First Don’t Walk’ automatic signs were installed in New York City, US on On 05-Feb-1952.

Traffic Light Colors

 In general, traffic signal have two main lights, red and green. In India and many other countries yellow (or amber) is also included to mean ‘prepare to stop’. Have you ever imagined about people with red-green blind color blindness, how do they follow the signal when they don’t recogonize red-green colors. Well have no fears, to help people with such color blindness red color is mixed with orange in its hue and green is mixed with blue. Isn’t it interesting ?

Traffic Light Purpose

Most of you know it. Traffic lights, also known as traffic signals or stop light, is a signalling device that is positioned at a road intersection, pedestrian crossing, or other location to indicate when it is safe to drive, ride, or walk using a universal color code.


The color ‘red’ on the signal light indicates to stop well before the stop line and not to crowd the intersection. Turn left in a red signal only when there is a sign to do so. While turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles coming from other directions.

Amber (Yellow)

The amber (or yellow) light indicates to clear the road when the signal is changing from green to red. If, by mistake, caught in the amber signal in the middle of a large road crossing, continue with care and do not accelerate in panic.


The signal light ‘green’ set you to go but be careful while on the start of move. Check whether vehicles from other directions have cleared the road. Suppose you want to turn left or right, check the signal whether it allows or not separately. If yes, turn but yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles from other directions.

Steady Green Arrow Signal

This indicates to proceed with caution in the direction the arrow points. Remember to yield to all pedestrians and vehicles already in the intersection. Start only when you have clear path in front of you to avoid any accidents.

Flashing Red Signal

Flashing red means to come to a complete stop. Do not forget to yield to all other traffic and to pedestrians. Proceed only when the way is clear even if there is no traffic at all.

Flashing Amber Signal

Flashing amber indicates to slow down look around and proceed with caution with the way is clear for you to move.



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