April 18, 2024

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What is the color blue in a traffic light – where do we find it and why?

Talk goes without saying!

Road traffic light signals have three basic colors and are used in most (almost) countries of the world to regulate traffic.

The significance of the color red and green in relation to its use in regulating traffic is known from his childhood and in Greece.

Specifically, green means “move” and red “stop” and applies to vehicles and pedestrians and other road users, while yellow is a warning and/or mandatory color depending on the duration and frequency of movement.

With its roots in the regulation of rail traffic, light signals for road vehicles first appeared in the United States in the 1910s. Origin also on European soil.

The installation of traffic lights was certainly aimed at facilitating the movement of vehicles on the roads and improving safety levels, as the use of traffic lights necessitated an increase in the number of vehicles in circulation.

Traffic lights and the colors used in Greece are determined by the International Vienna Convention of 1968, signed by a total of 71 countries.

Where do we encounter blue light?

Among the signatory countries is Japan, which is an exception to the rule we noted at the outset, where the traffic lights found on the country’s roads are mostly green for blue or green-blue reasons. First believed a European.

According to the website carandmotor.gr, the reason why Japan also uses blue or green-blue instead of green in its traffic lights is the lack of a separate word in… Japanese for green uses the same word (ao) for blue and green!

Even the word “midori,” which appeared in writing to describe green at the end of the first millennium AD, actually refers to a different shade of blue.

Today of course the word “ao” is still used for many things and things that are green in color, for example green … “blue” apples (ao-ringo).

The word “ao” is used in official documents of the Japanese government for traffic light specifications, and should therefore be used in practice as well. So Japanese lamps used blue instead of green for many years.

However, in an attempt to come closer to international standards, the Land of the Rising Sun has started changing the color of traffic lights by adding more and more green.

After disputes between linguists in 1973 over the wrong word used in official government documents, the Japanese government offered a solution in a highly unusual way. Instead of changing the word “ao” to the word “midori”, it was decided to use green with blue as much as possible, in order to put an end to this particular issue once and for all. Traffic lights…

So, although traffic lights in Japan appear blue, they are actually green and have the same meaning as a green traffic light in Europe.

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