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The Collaborative International Dictionary
traffic light

Red light \Red light\

  1. an electrically operated set of lights at a road intersection which has different lights visible to traffic from different directions, designed to control vehicle traffic through the intersection. Each set of lights typically has a colored red light and also green and amber lights; the color of the light which is lighted at any one time changes automatically to control the flow of traffic through the intersection, allowing flow from different directions in alternating succession. Also called {traffic light}, traffic signal or {stop light}. When the red light is illuminated the signal means to stop; green means to go; and amber means to stop or procede through the intersection with caution. In simple intersections of two roads, a red light visible to traffic on one road will usually be accompanied by a green light visible to traffic on the intersecting road. In some locations the lights may be set to be illuminated in other sequences or combinations; a blinking red light is typically equivalent to a ``stop'' sign, and a blinking amber light typically means ``procede with caution''.

  2. the condition of a traffic light when the signal visible to the driver of a vehicle is red, signalling that the vehicle must stop and not enter the intersection; I got seven red lights on the way to work.

  3. figuratively, a sign or signal that one must stop doing what one is presently doing; as, a fatal side effect is often a red light to continuation of a clinical trial.

traffic light

n. 1 A signalling device positioned at a road intersection or pedestrian crossing to indicate when it may be safe to drive, ride or walk, using a universal colour code. 2 (context philately English) The coloured dots on stamp sheet margins printed with offset litho or photogravure methods, used by the printers to check colour accuracy.

traffic light

n. a visual signal to control the flow of traffic at intersections [syn: traffic signal, stoplight]

Traffic light

Traffic lights, also known as traffic signals, traffic lamps, traffic semaphore, signal lights, stop lights, (in South African English) robots and (in technical parlance) traffic control signals, are signalling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings, and other locations to control flows of traffic.

The world's first, manually operated gas-lit traffic signal was short lived. Installed in London in December 1868, it exploded less than a month later, injuring or killing its policeman operator. Traffic control started to seem necessary in the late 1890s and Earnest Sirrine from Chicago patented the first automated traffic control system in 1910. It used the words "STOP" and "PROCEED", though both words did not light up.

Traffic lights alternate the right of way accorded to users by displaying lights of a standard color (red, amber (yellow), and green) following a universal color code. In the typical sequence of color phases:

  • The green light allows traffic to proceed in the direction denoted, if it is safe to do so and there is room on the other side of the intersection.
  • The amber (yellow) light warns that the signal is about to change to red. In a number of countries – among them the United Kingdom – a phase during which red and yellow are displayed together indicates that the signal is about to change to green. Actions required by drivers on a yellow light vary, with some jurisdictions requiring drivers to stop if it is safe to do so, and others allowing drivers to go through the intersection if safe to do so.
  • A flashing Amber indication is a warning signal. In the United Kingdom, a flashing amber light is used only at pelican crossings, in place of the combined red–amber signal, and indicates that drivers may pass if no pedestrians are on the crossing.
  • The red signal prohibits any traffic from proceeding.
  • A flashing red indication is treated as a stop sign.

In some countries traffic signals will go into a flashing mode if the controller detects a problem, such as a program that tries to display green lights to conflicting traffic. The signal may display flashing yellow to the main road and flashing red to the side road, or flashing red in all directions. Flashing operation can also be used during times of day when traffic is light, such as late at night.

Traffic Light (TV series)

Traffic Light is an American comedy television series that ran on Fox from February 8, 2011 to May 31, 2011. It is based on the Israeli TV show Ramzor ( lit. "traffic light" made by Keshet Broadcasting Ltd.), and was adapted to an American audience by Bob Fisher. The series aired Tuesdays at 9:30 pm following Raising Hope as a mid-season replacement for Running Wilde. Fox announced its cancellation on May 10, 2011.

Traffic light (disambiguation)

A traffic light is a traffic control device.

Traffic light or traffic lights may also refer to:

  • Traffic Light (TV series), a 2011 American television series
  • Traffic light coalition, a type of political coalition
  • Traffic Light Protocol, a system for classifying sensitive information
  • Traffic light rating system. a system for indicating the status of a variable using the red, amber, or green of traffic lights
  • "Traffic Light," a song on the Ting Tings' 2008 album We Started Nothing
  • "Traffic Lights," a song on Monty Python's 1980 album Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album
  • "Traffic Lights" (Lena Meyer Landrut song), a song by Lena Meyer-Landrut's 2015 album Crystal Sky

Usage examples of "traffic light".

In Lauderhill, a 21 -year-old security guard said he accidentally shot his friend in the head while their car was stopped at a traffic light.

The street was unfamiliar in the daylight, the traffic light, the pavements cluttered with the flapping canopies and bare tables and detritus of the market winding down.

He lost, and it so enraged him that he followed the other car until it stopped for a traffic light -- where he rammed it from the rear at seventy miles an hour.

As they pulled away from a traffic light, Allen noticed a car parked in a sidestreet.

At one point Bill stopped a little short at a traffic light on Truman Street, and I guess Lex bonked his head back there, because he let out a bubbly shout loud enough to be heard in the cab.

Although there was little traffic this late at night, he nonetheless waited for the traffic light on the corner to change in his favour.

There, while waiting for a traffic light, he glanced in Holly's direction down 15th Street toward her destination on K Street.

They even stopped at a traffic light, with other vehicles around them.

The traffic light changed, the battered little minibus moved forward, and no one paid them any attention at all.

They walked another mile to an intersection with a flashing traffic light.