Road Traffic Light in New Configuration
ACRS, DOI:10.33492/JRS-D-20-00253, https://doi.org/10.33492/JRS-D-20-00253
Submission Date: February 11, 2021 Journal
Suggested Citation: Kozin, Y. (2021) Road Traffic Light in New Configuration. Journal of Road Safety, 32(1), 52-54. https://doi.org/10.33492/JRS-D-20-00253
The three-color system containing signals of the same circular shape has been in existence for over a hundred years. Each traffic signal has been justifiably selected to have a special color light to correspond to human psychoemotional reaction (red – stop, yellow – caution, green – go) to a given color signal (British Standards, 2015) and to comply with the laws of physics (The Motivated Engineer, 2015) – Rayleigh’s scattering law (Banc SpaceTek, 2017).
The main downsides of the traditional road traffic light include the following:
• The uniform circular shape of light signals results in uncertainty and difficulties for road users with color blindness and visual impairments, resulting in the need for restrictions or bans on driving license issuance in some countries. This uncertainty becomes particularly acute in conditions of low visibility.
• According to the concept of harmony of form and color (Itten, 1961), a green light alone corresponds to the circular (spherical-like) shape of the signal. Red and amber lights harmoniously combine with other geometrical shapes.
• The uniform shape of light signals prevents the implementation of the original compact combined model of traffic lights. For example, during the day, colorblind people can tell which signal is which because there is a standard position assigned: top – bottom or right – left (Oliveira, Souza, Junior, Sales & Ferraz, 2015). This becomes problematic if the compact combined models of traffic lights are used.
Engineers and inventors have been trying to solve these problems by introducing random changes in the light signal shape and complicating the traffic light design. For a long time there have been different proposals about how to eliminate the demerits of the existing traffic lights: from arbitrary changes in the signal shape (Patterson, 1988) to transformation of traffic lights into a single-section display panel (Kulichenko, 2011) which replaces among others stationary road signs. However, technical solutions like these deprive the traffic light of its signal uniformity and conciseness (simplicity, clarity and precision of its controlling effect), features which help safe traffic regulation in a busy and dynamic mode.
Technical modernization of individual signal components has been going hand in hand with technological developments as light sources, diffusers, lenses, controllers, materials, control systems, timers, etc. are improved. However, adequate design and aesthetic proposals are considerably behind. The aim of this paper is to propose a concept of creating control signals of traffic light that harmonize color and form, and, as a result, to create a new model