You can easily find the best San Francisco Party Bus and you can also easily spot a traffic light in every city or town. However, fewer facts are known about these lights. In this article, I will list 10 interesting things about these fascinating lights you would want to know.
1. There was no yellow light until the 1920s.
Before the 1920s, only two traffic lights existed, red and green lights. This means that drivers didn’t get a warning signal to slow down. This led to numerous accidents on busy and noisy intersections. The yellow or amber signal was introduced in 1920 by William Potts, who was a Detroit police officer. This light was meant to warn drivers.
2. Do you know why the red color was chosen to represent “stop”? Although there’s scanty evidence as to why green and red colors were chosen to represent “go” and “stop”, science has proved that red was chosen for “stop” because it can be seen further away than green as it has a longer wavelength.
3. Do you know where the oldest traffic light is? It’s in Ashville, Ohio. It was installed in the year 1932. It still continues to operate since it was installed, directing drivers in the town’s museum.
4. Rumors have it that the future traffic lights will be able to sync with your phone, or even communicated to your car. While many people would think that the traffic lights haven’t evolved over the decades, many changes have taken place such as the introduction of LED traffic lights. A Korean firm is currently designing traffic lights which will display news headlights to prevent drivers from using their phones. Another England’s Newcastle University is testing a system that might talk to your car’s navigation system.
5. Leicester city is believed to have more traffic lights than any other city in the UK. Also, it was the first city that deployed both traffic wardens and traffic lights to monitor unsuspecting motorists.
6. Some urban people have a myth that you can drive past a red traffic light if they seem damaged or stuck on red. This is not true. The law says that you can’t drive through a red traffic light unless directed so by a traffic officer. If you commit an offence of driving through stuck red lights, you will be prosecuted and will be needed to prove that they were faulty. This will be pretty difficult.
7. Some vehicles can drive through red traffic lights. These include ambulances, police vehicles, emergency service vehicles, among others. Some countries have an override that will change traffic lights from red to green to allow emergency services to pass safely.
8. The basic three-way traffic light system is owned by the General Electric, who bought it for about $40,000 from a person known as Garrett Morgan. This system was later improved by adding the amber signal. Garret Morgan is also the person who invented a gas mask in the year 1922, and his two inventions are credited for saving thousands of lives.
9. The use of the traffic lights green for go, red for stop, and amber for warning originated with railway signals.
10. The first traffic lights to be designed were manually operated; The gas-lit signal was put up in the year 1868 outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.