Red is the color of passion, energy, strength, danger; yellow represents happiness , optimism, vitality; and we associate green with hope, youth, nature… If we think of something that contains these three colors, our vital sense will almost unanimously take us to the traffic light , one of the most important signals we have in our road safety system. . Red means ‘stop’, green means ‘go’ and yellow means ‘be careful when passing’ And why those colors
Why not blue, purple and brown
To find out, you have to go back to the 19th century. Traffic lights have been directing traffic in cities for more than a century, but before cars, what marked world circulation was the railway, which was the first means of transport that required regulations with the Industrial Revolution. The first electric traffic light in the world was installed in the city of Cleveland (United States), in 1914 . In Europe, it would be installed first in Berlin, a decade later, and in Spain, Madrid was the city chosen for the first traffic light in 1926, specifically in the Gran Via area.
The first traffic light in Spain was located on the Gran Via in Madrid back in 1926.
How was it possible to make the public aware of these new measures
Well, just as campaigns are now launched months in advance in the media and social networks, at that time the written press set the pace of information and the colors red, yellow and green took over various covers over time to carry out the relevant pedagogy. .
Red is a symbol inherited from the railways.
Red symbolizes danger in many cultures and has the longest wavelength of any color in the visible spectrum, which means it can be seen from a greater distance than other colors . Red has meant stopping since long before cars existed.
Green against problems with white
The role of green in lights has changed over time. In the days when lights were used primarily to signal railways, green originally meant ‘caution’, while the ‘all clear’ light was white. Everything changed when an engineer mistook the target for stars that shone in the sky, causing numerous accidents. White was discarded and replaced by green, which has a shorter wavelength, to indicate to train drivers, and later to cars, that everything was ‘ok’ and they could continue on the road they were on. That is the meaning of the green that is maintained over time and we know today.
Green originally meant ‘caution’, while the ‘all clear’ light was white
The origin of yellow at traffic lights dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and its foundation is based on the fact that at night it was almost impossible to see a red stop sign in a poorly lit area. Detroit was the first city to put up the yellow light . It was in 1920, at its first electric traffic light, located at the corner of Michigan and Woodward Aves. Over the years and technological evolution, the ability to produce highly reflective signals allowed red to become the highest signal on the traffic light, moving yellow to second place, with the mission of indicating ‘caution’.