People notice traffic signals to seek guidance regarding traffic. Traffic signals are powerful because people follow their orders. Traffic signals are significant for maintaining order on the roads because they keep people safe from running into accidents and also reduce the chances of collisions. Traffic signals are the reason we can travel smoothly, without losing any time struck in traffic. They reduce waiting time and increase productivity. In this article, we have put together a few fun facts about traffic signals. The next time you are on the road and spot a traffic signal, you can look at it more meaningfully instead of just an indicator or regulator for traffic flow. traffic signal contractors and various Traffic Signal construction companies have put a lot of thought into bringing these signals to their current form and design.
1. First Traffic Signal was Gas-Lit
Traffic Signals these days rely on electricity for functioning. Some signals run on direct electricity, whereas many signals use solar energy for functioning. However, the first traffic light was gas-lit. Back in 1868, traffic signals used gas to operate. This signal could not survive for more than a month and was exploded. It caused physical damage to the police officer operating it.
2. Flashing Birdhouse Traffic Signal
The initial form of modern traffic signal was proposed by Lester Wire in 1912 and many Traffic Signal construction companies adopted it after that. A police officer by profession, Lester used color bulbs for indicating traffic commandment. The prototype used red and green painted light bulbs. Traffic signal contractors placed these bulbs on the four sides of a wooden box. Later on, contractors and traffic signal manufacturing companies changed this design to make it more durable and weather-resistant model using metal posts.
3. Popular Light Configuration Model
Initially, the traffic signals did not abide by any hard and fast setting rule. However, in 1927, the American Society for Municipal Improvements committee suggested the configuration of a consistent light. As per its recommendation, the red light must be on the top and green should be on the bottom. Various Traffic Signal construction companies adopted these suggestions after their publishing in MUTCD in 1930.
4. DARLEY, more efficient model
W.S. Darley proposed a cost-effective and simple design in 1938. Using three bulbs, for indicating traffic flow, the Darley model utilized a single bulb for all four directions. For example, if the top bulb is on, it will indicate red color for the Main Street whereas it will use lenses to transform the red color into the green for indicating a go-ahead for cross streets. This was an automated system that used a built-in electro-mechanical controller. It became widely popular because of its simple and cost-effective design, minimal wiring, and efficient use of available resources. However, its popularity plummeted when the signals went sideways.
5. Yellow, was introduced afterward
Guess what, police officers have played a significant role in the invention and modern design of traffic signals.
From its invention in 1868 till the 1920s, the traffic signals only comprised of two colors i-e red and green. Another police officer, William Potts, proposed that the traffic signals contractors should include yellow color. The idea was to speed up the traffic flow, as a new color yellow will prepare drivers to be ready to halt. Garrett Morgan owned the patent for yellow light until 1923. They, later on, sold the patent to another traffic signal construction company General Electric.
6. The need for blue color
Sometimes instead of green light, a vivid blue color appears on traffic signals. Well, it’s not due to a change in the signals’ colors. Instead, balancing of light backfires.
Remember the times when you used to paint as a kid? Mixing of yellow color with blue results in green color. What happens is that the bulbs produce yellow color that can dim the green color. To cope up with this problem, many traffic signal construction companies paint the lens of signal blue so that when the yellow light passes through it, the resulting color is green. If Traffic Signal construction company does not paint the lens properly and in a balanced manner, the color appears as blue instead of green.
7. No Traffic Signal contractor can replace Red
Although the selection of colors for traffic signals is pretty much intuitive, the color red can never be replaced. Being a symbol of danger, it indicates an undesirable situation ahead and warns the drivers to stop. Moreover, it has the highest wavelength which means drivers can see it from a distance. Drivers should hit the brakes when they spot red light from a distance.
Drivers and passengers often overlook traffic signals, and no one really gives a thought about the system working behind them. In this article, we have talked about some facts behind traffic signals and their working.
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