They are the nuisance of impatient motorists and are accountable for thousands of road rage accidents across the world.
Now the modest traffic lights have been honored with a Google Doodle to celebrate its 101st Anniversary on 5 August. Traffic lights are 101 years old today.
First time, lights were installed in London in the late 19th century and sited outside the Houses of Parliament.
Those light were not on electricity but on gas, police officers also make those lights work by hand in a bid to manage automobiles passing nearby Bridge Street, Parliament Street and Great George Street.
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The project duration was very short because of gas explosion happened in 1869 and seriously wounded the police officer operating the traffic lights.
Almost 30 years later, an American got pleasure from superior success with some electronic traffic lights that focused on a similar and now worldwide recognizable system of red and green lights.
Lester Wire was that American and a former detective too in Salt Lake City who conceived electronic traffic lights idea. Afterwards, traffic lights began springing up across the America. The surprising to know is he didn’t conceive the idea of yellow light.
Garrett Morgan was another American who contributed in this idea of Lester Wire. He was from Ohio who guaranteed to advance traffic safety after witnessing a stern accident on the roads so he applied for copyrights for a man-powered traffic control machine. But he could make a prototype of it.
It has been conjectured that local authorities were unwilling to spend money in a man-powered set of traffic signals because it needs cities to hire someone to staff it every time whereas the evolving electric traffic lights appeared far cheaper than man-powered set of traffic signals .
The doodle from Google showed the world’s first ever electric traffic lights to be installed and put into major use in Clevland (Ohio) on August 5 1914.
Doodle illustrator explained that he did not comprise the yellow light outlining as it was not introduced with red and green. It was introduced later on to handle traffic more effectively.
Bells system was added to traffic light systems in 1920 to alert drivers and riders about light change.
Countdown timers were introduced in 1990 allowing people walking on roads to predict whether there is sufficient time for them to cross the road before the lights turn to red.
Possibly the most imposing traffic light prototype ever to be installed on the world’s streets was the Traffic Light Tree made by French sculptor.
The impressive 8 meter tall tree consists of 75 sets of lights and happened to be a favorite spot for tourists in London.
A public information website says, crossing red light is still the major reason for road accidents in USA. There are three persons who cross red light every hour in America. Not all but almost 55% Americans accept to crossing red light.
History of Traffic Lights…