The traffic light has many different names like a traffic signal, stop lights, etc. They are placed out there to control the traffic. The first traffic light appeared in the mid-1800’s and consisted of two lamps, a red and a green one, like it is still commonly used nowadays in most countries. However, there existed no way to render it automatic back then and a person had to be present all the time to operate it. Traffic officers would turn the lantern to make sure the right light was facing the traffic. Even though this method of traffic control was believed to be successful, it did not last for a very long time. After about one year, the traffic light exploded, and it is believed that an operating officer was killed in the explosion. Everyone then started doubting the safety of the invention, and decided to stop using it until the early 20th century when an electric alternative was introduced. Since then, this method of traffic control has begun spreading throughout the world, and it is currently hard to find a place on the planet without them.

Nowadays, the traffic light is one of the best, if not the best way to ensure the safe flow of traffic anywhere. Even though the most common colors in traffic signals are red, yellow, and green, their meaning might vary, depending on the particular country we are referring to. The red color is associated with the word “stop” and this is the case almost everywhere. The color could also mean something like a closed road. The yellow, which is commonly found between red and green, means that you should get ready for the green color about to turn on, and it will be your turn to move. The green color gives you permission to drive ahead or cross. Red and green colors are usually the ones that last for a longer period of time, compared to yellow. In some cases, you might have to stay at the stop light for five minutes or more when the red light is shining. This is usual when construction work is done around the road. Some countries have the practice to turn off the red and green in the night until the morning, and leave everything to the yellow light and the traffic signs. This is effective in towns and cities with smaller populations and less traffic.

Some traffic lights are improved via sound effects. This is done to ensure the safety of pedestrians who have vision problems or are blind. The practice is that when the color is red, a sound will beep slowly, indicating that you cannot cross. If the light becomes green, a continuous sound indicates that it is safe to cross. These pedestrian crossing panels are usually disabled at night to ensure that the nearby residents are not disturbed by the annoying sounds.

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