kids encyclopedia robot

Traffic light facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
(Redirected from Traffic signal)
Traffic lights 3 states
This diagram shows how a traditional traffic light works.
Picture 1: A red light means stop.
Picture 2: A green light means go.
Picture 3: A yellow light means slow down and be ready to stop.

Traffic lights (or traffic signals) are lights used to control the movement of traffic. They are placed on roads at intersections and crossings. The different colors of lights tell drivers what to do.

Light cycles

Traffic lights change their colors in the same order every time. In most English-speaking countries, traffic lights usually change in this order:

  1. Red light on: This tells drivers to stop.
  2. Green light on: This means the driver can start driving or keep driving.
  3. Yellow light on: This tells drivers to stop when it is safe to, because the light is about to turn red.

In some places, the red and yellow lights can be on the same time. In the United Kingdom, this signals that the light is about to turn green. In some parts of the United States, it signals that pedestrians can cross the road. In many places, traffic signals do not use the red and yellow lights together, and traffic lights go straight from red to green.


Garrett A. Morgan, an African-American inventor, invented one of the first traffic lights. He was one of the first people to get a patent for a traffic light.

William Potts, a police officer, invented the first traffic light with three colors.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Traffic light Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.