1/27/2016 - Life is Good With Traffic Lights
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red traffic light

The red traffic light will be the simplest of instruction in our life. As soon as you see it, the body reacts automatically. There are many types of traffic lights to guide cars and pedestrians on the highway. But can you find such signals in the human body to guide you through the journey of life? It's actually a feel-good article.

I was speeding perfectly into a crossing trying to beat the pin traffic light. Nevertheless the lights changed along with the red light stared at my face. I slammed the breaks and stopped the car. A fast car sped from left to right. Easily had not stopped, I'd have surely been hit with that car. My heart raced. Fortunately there was no other car behind to hit me from behind as I came abruptly with a halt. As I regained my composure, I reflected about the event. I thanked the red light for stopping me just with time.

green traffic light

What would the World end up like without the red light? It will be in complete chaos. The simple invention has brought a lot order and safety for the civilized World! I decided to probe the web for the origin and good the humble traffic light.

I found that the traffic lights were an invention of a Railway engineer JP Knight who first fitted his red/green gas-light traffic signal near the top of Parliament Square in London dating back to in 1868! In the US of your, William Potts, a police officer in Detroit placed the first electric traffic lights in 1920! Plus it was 12 years later in 1932 that London took its first set of modern traffic lights.

The traffic lights were meant to allow right of method to the vehicular traffic alternately to various directions. The simple system gave a cue for the drivers when to stop when to proceed. However in places where the traffic was heavy, the pedestrians think it is difficult to cross. The crossing paths across road junctions were painted in monochrome stripes for the pedestrians to steer. On this strip, known as the Zebra Crossing, the vehicles was required to stop to give right of strategy to the walkers. But where the pedestrians were numerous that they a time slot of their very own with "Walk" / "Don't Walk" lights at pedestrian crossings.

Soon there are many innovations for the pedestrian crossing signals. In England, these folks were known after the names of birds! The location where the pedestrians were infrequent they may activate the "Walk" sign by pressing a button. This was named a "Pelican" crossing for the lights mounted on the other side of the road and "Puffin" crossing where the lights were installed on the same side with the road. To facilitate cyclists in addition to pedestrians, a "Toucan" crossing was introduced. The riders of horses were also not forgotten; they had the facility in the "Pegasus" crossing which had a button placed high up with a pole for the rider to press!

Sometimes when there not a single car anywhere in sight, the red light seems like a tyrant bullying that you wait for no reason. Don't let become slaves of such idiot machines? However too is changing because controllers of traffic lights are being programmed with sensors to really make the green light come on faster if you have a dearth of traffic. The lights give the drivers a false sense of security and they quicken their vehicles from the green light. This is dangerous on sparse traffic conditions since there may be a driver on the cross road who impatiently jumps the red light and causes an accident.

Traffic lights may be oppressive in crowded conditions as well. In very crowded areas like a hustling and bustling city centre, the traffic is always slow along with the traffic lights are a real nuisance. The lights hinder traffic more than facilitate it. Traffic planners are realizing that it may be better to restore the traffic management to humans. In certain traffic conditions the attention contact between the drivers along with the pedestrians may be a better strategy for giving way to one other. This is proved from the Dutch town of Drachten where in 2004, the road signs and traffic lights were taken down as a part of 'Naked Street' experiment. Natural cautious negotiation between the motorists, cyclists as well as the walkers govern the streets and the number of accidents has reduced remarkably!

The newest awakening has found its roots in England too! The council of Kensington and Chelsea was the first ones to remove traffic lights to forge modern 'shared streetscapes' where his full attention between motorists and straightforward common sense can do away which has a 'clutter' of bollards and barriers, traffic lights, street signs, and speed cameras. The council has succeeded in turning the Exhibition Road into a wide open 'naked street' for cars and pedestrians by 'decluttering' of the Kensington High Street. They have pulled on the railings, removed the curbs and signs. They have got however added bicycle islands and mini-roundabouts. The result is vastly reduced accidents! It implies that there is a built in regulator within us.

But also for most of the roads with moderate traffic and without many pedestrians, the traffic lights will reign for a long time to come. The red light tells you to stop. It's the simplest form of instruction. If only there were many more red lights in other styles of human activity. I wish there was a sore point to signal a stop to those who have had a glass too many!

Do you have a red light which shines when you are performing something wrong? If you open your heart and look for it, you may find the red light of your conscience to assist you! It is such a good feeling to locate that there is a decision signal on the journey of our life! And me the good old red and green lights are more than just traffic controllers. Help you to find more in the human body. They are a blessing in disguise for the warm and secure wellness in our being!

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