Today is International Traffic Light Day

Today is International Traffic Light Day

August 05, 2021

In honor of the holiday, the Norilsk police held an educational event for children.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Every year on August 5, the world celebrates the Traffic Light Day. The date is timed to an event that happened in 1914: in the American city of Clickwend, the first predecessor of modern devices was installed, which had red and green lights, and when the light was turned on, it emitted a sound signal. However, the very first traffic light appeared much earlier.

A police officer explains to a traffic violator a traffic signal on Arguello Boulevard in San Francisco, 1927

In December 1868, a traffic light by inventor John Knight was installed near the British Parliament building in London. It was operated manually, during the day two arrows were used, which meant in a horizontal position – a stop signal, and at an angle of 45 degrees – moving with caution. At night, signals were given by rotating gas lanterns emitting green and red colors. After three years of service, the traffic light exploded and injured a police officer, so its use was forgotten for many years.

Tricolor traffic lights, similar to modern ones, appeared in New York and Detroit in 1920. The authors of the idea were the Americans William Potts and John Harris. But the first fully automatic traffic light was patented by the American inventor and businessman Harrat Morgan on August 5, 1923. After that, all traffic lights in the world were build according to his scheme.

In Russia, traffic lights began to regulate traffic in St. Petersburg on January 15, 1930. Later they were installed throughout the country. It’s interesting that at first, Soviet engineers experimented with the color scheme of traffic lights. Sometimes, instead of green, blue was turned on.

Modern LED traffic light

The signals were also arranged in an unusual order – in the opposite order: above it was blue or green, below it was red. Only in 1959, when the Soviet Union joined the International Convention on Road Traffic, the colors of the traffic lights take their places in the sequence and with the color scale as we see them today.

On the International Day of Traffic Lights, traffic police officers carry out preventive measures. They remind people to follow traffic rules.

Today Norilsk police officers visited a kindergarten, where together with teachers they held an interactive event for young Norilsk residents. Boys and girls guessed riddles about road signs, collected thematic puzzles and competed in dynamic games.

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Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko,,,

August 05, 2021

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