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Redesigned Traffic Light for the Color Blind



The Uni-Signal is a very simple redesign of the traditional color-coded traffic light that would help people with color blindness drive more safely. A person who can't read the colors will be able to read the shape of the illuminated signal. More pictures at the link.

Link via DVICE | Image: Yanko Design

Why is "triangle" easier to remember than "top/left" for a colorblind person? I think this is a solution in search of a problem.

Plus, in the US, triangle signs (point up) mean yield, so seems like yellow is the best color for that shape.
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@Matt. Nighttime sucks when you see the blinking red (or is it yellow...fuck, I can't tell) because from far away you can't see the placement. I have to slow down just in case it is a red blinking light and anyone driving behind me has no clue why I am slowing down so much.
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Agreed, this is a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Green is always on bottom or left, red is always on top or right. I'm sure there are many color blind drivers out there who have no problems interpreting the current lights.
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Thank GOODNESS for this. Finally.

If we agree as a society to adapt to those with disabilities we have to acknowledge the simple fact that one in six men have some form of color blindness.

That is 8% of the population and very significant.

I myself have a problem telling the green in a green traffic light apart from certain kinds of streetlights. IT doesn't seem all that bad that i might not see GREEN lights as opposed to Red ones, and i agree, but every once in a while it does mess me up. This new traffic light would help me.
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Like it's been said, the green/yellow/red are ALWAYS in the same spot. The only difference is it's either vertical or horizontal. If the top light's blinking, you know it's blinking red...middle light, yellow, etc.

And if you have trouble seeing the colors from a distance, then those shapes aren't going to help much either.
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My husband is color blind and can't tell the difference between red and green.

He's had no trouble figuring out when to go and stop.I'm sure others can too.

No need to spend public money on something not needed.
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Chais, distance and color aren't the issue. Seeing the chassis of the light in the dark (which is behind the light that is shining so its even more difficult to see) to know if its the middle light that's blinking instead of the top is the issue. Seeing the difference in a triangle shape vs a round shape would be tons more visible, for me at least.
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Ok, so lets say this is put in place. According to Google search 8% of males are color blind and .5% of females are color blind. Most of these people have learned to use the existing lights. A few may have problems. After the switch, a percentage of those color blind people will benefit. There will be some who have learned how to interpret the light who will be confused. What is worse, the 92% of males and 99.5% of females who are not color blind and are used to the colors will be confused because they use the colors to work with. In the end, there will be more problems because of this fix. Sure, in 50 years after everyone relearns or is taught differently it will work out nicely. In the meantime this will end up with more confusion on the roads. I am more in favor of doing research to put computers in charge of the driving and remove the human component completely. We could be there in a couple of decades if we started working now. This solution fixes tons of problems including color blind and lights.
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@Matt: I'd pick a square for stop, and the triange for go (or perhaps a circle). The convention is already there on your remote control.
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It's true that red is always on top, green on the bottom. Seems simple enough, yes. So what happens at night when you can't see what order they are in?

The only thing I'm uncertain of is the shapes they have chosen. As someone said, a triangle is used for yield or caution signs, not stop. Stop signs are hexagons but at night a small lit up hexagon shape could be hard to distinguish from a circle. I believe red should be a square, yellow a triangle and green a circle.
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To those who don't see the need because the lights are always in the same location: Do you every drive at night, or in for or rain? You have to be pretty close to see the relative position of the lights that are not lit.

Did you really give this any thought before posting?
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If there is a true need for this why not come up with some sort of symbology as is used with walk/don't walk signals? Sure, I understand it's easier to see and interpret a symbol when you are on foot as opposed to driving, but if these shapes are considered big enough to differentiate at a vehicular distances and speeds, surely a symbol can be used that would work and be more definitive.
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I still don't see the need... The only time I've driven where I can't see the light signals is either in rain or fog and you have to get close enough to see the light flashing... I don't think the shape would have much difference at that point.
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Yeah, I think traffic lights are easy enough to distinguish during the day... at night is where you run into problems. Unfortunately, when you're 100 yards from a blinking light, you can't tell what shape it is (right, I imagine it'd be difficult anyway...). Eh.
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From what I understand most colorblind people who drive say they can still tell a green from a red light. They don't just see black and white, but all the different shades in between. Even then this would only be useful at night, in theory. However it seems unlikely that one could really tell a glowing triangle from a glowing circle from a distance at night. All that said and how few drivers would be affected this seems a bit silly.
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Instead of changing the outer shape from round to triangle and square, is it not more economical to change the inner shape from round to the other shapes by overlapping it with a piece of plastics/metal to form these shapes?
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Can't see the shape from a distance that well, either. Poor choice of shapes, as well.

Just don't give licences to people who are colour blind.
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How about, instead of reinventing the wheel, help people learn the behavior of the traffic lights (ie. when it blinks, the order of switching, etc). I'm getting sick of these "designers" actually introducing a problem instead of solving it.

I'm colorblind and have no issue with traffic lights. Top one is RED, middle YELLOW, bottom GREEN. How complicated is that?!

Move along, ignore this. I know I will..
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First of all, MATT @ the top there: Yield signs are triangles - but the triangle is point DOWN in the US for yield.
(See the following site for a demo, genius.)

http://www.wpclipart.com/page_frames/full_page_signs/traffic_signs_1/yield_sign_page.png

Secondly, you can't see the placement from far away, especially in bad weather or at night. You need to be able to trust the color in that situation. So, for our colorblind friends, I think this is a great idea. And, if the rest of us can't figure out that the lights are still the same and it's only a slight change to help the colorblind - well, then you're just like all the other idiot drivers we have here in Florida. :)
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Stephanie, the reason there are standards for orientation of traffic lights in the US is specifically for the color blind. If the top or left light is lit, stop, middle one is yellow and bottom or right is green.

This has worked, flawlessly, for decades.

I agree with Matt that this is a solution in search of a problem. In this case, the problem was solved, long ago. No need to start wasting money for a newer system for the sake of it being newer.
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Like Bobntg said, old news in Quebec, where they are horizontal as well as shape-specific. But they like to do things differently in Quebec, and it likely generates more revenue from visitors who are confused by the lights.
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It looks like the majority of colour-blind people only report problems at night with flashing signals. Perhaps the solution is not to design a completely new light, but rather use a different method to signal that case. For example, perhaps one light on (red) and one light flashing (yellow).
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As most folks have said this was fixed decades ago. It has worked great ever since. As far as those that say they cannot tell the position far away or in fog I suggest you slow down then you wouldn't have that problem. If you cannot see well enough you are driving too fast for conditions.

@bigyaz

"Did you really give this any thought before posting?"

Was that necessary? Who appointed you hall monitor?

I think you need to give more thought before slamming those that don't agree with you. Especially with your
command of English.

"...every drive....", "...or in for...". It's EVER and WTH is FOR? Anything like fog?

(big, just not very smart)
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