The Electric Traffic Light Turns 101

Recently, a staple out on the roads enjoyed an anniversary. That staple is the electric traffic signal. This Wednesday was the 101st anniversary of the installation of what may have been the first electric traffic light in the world. Some of our readers may have seen the Google Doodle commemorating the anniversary.

According to many, Cleveland was the first place in the world to have an electric traffic signal on its roads. August 5, 1914 was the installation date of the city's first such signal.

Since then, the electric traffic signal has come to play an incredibly big traffic safety role in the United States. It is one of the major traffic control devices for intersections in the country. On pretty much any major non-interstate road, it won't take you that long until you encounter a traffic light.

During the course of their over century of existence, electric traffic signals have undergone many changes. They have gone from the very rudimentary devices the country saw after the traffic light's initial introduction to today's sophisticated sensor-heavy traffic lights. One of the things that has not changed though over this time is that how drivers act continues to play a big role in how able these devices are to serve their traffic safety purpose.

One of the things that needs to happen for traffic lights to be able to keep intersections safe is for drivers to pay attention to and obey such lights. When drivers ignore or disobey traffic signals, the results can be disastrous. So, one hopes drivers here in Michigan take the recent 101st anniversary of the traffic light as an opportunity think about and remember the importance of following traffic signals.

Unfortunately, individuals are sometimes hurt as a result of a driver disobeying a traffic light here in Michigan. Such individuals should consider reviewing their legal options with a personal injury attorney.

Source: ABC News, “Google Doodle Celebrates 101st Anniversary of the First Electric Traffic Light,” Alyssa Newcomb, Aug, 5, 2015

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