Jun 10 2010Iffy: This 'New And Improved' Traffic Light


This is a new traffic light designed by Ji-youn Kim, Soon-young Yang & Hwan-ju Jeon with the colorblind in mind. That's thoughtful of you!

Color blindness, more common in men than women, takes many different forms and is present in a good 10%-15% of the population. With that in mind, you don't have to be able to see the usual red-yellow-green to know whether to stop, yield or go. Now, the redesigned red light will also show up as a triangle, the yield sign is still yellow and green for go will look like a square.

Listen: I'm all for replacing old traffic lights if it means I can get a couple to hang up in my rumpus room, but do you really think a triangle's gonna make that much of a difference to the colorblind? Haven't they already learned the light at the top is stop and the one in the middle is speed the f*** up then kiss your fingers and slap the roof?

Hit the jump for a comparison of the proposed new vs. old.


Re-learning The Traffic lights [yankodesign]
It's about time: redesigned traffic light includes the color blind [dvice]

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Reader Comments

we're so dumb we need shapes now too?

Idiots.... the triangle should be on the bottom for green since it resembles an arrow pointing forward, not fucking red.

Who green-lights this shit when it's discussed at board meetings?

@2 I see what you did there, and I agree.

I'm sure we'd be fucked if they made a t-rex shaped light.

Why not play, pause, stop, symbols everyone already understands?

Why not just make sure everyone knows what the top, middle and bottom lights are for rather than arsing around with shapes.

Red should be an Octagon (like a stop sign...)
Yellow should be a Triangle (like a yield sign...)
Green should remain a Circle ( why not..)

Yeah, like a few other people are saying,
I'm just a dumb fuckin kid, and even I know the shapes they picked are all fucking swapped and backwards.

dumb koreans. This is why I haven't learned your stupid alphabet cause it isn't worth my time.

Sometimes if its dark, us colorblind jerks can't see if the light is top, middle, or bottom.

The shapes are all wrong though.

That new traffic light isn't phat, but it is shapes...amirite?


But entertaining. If you look back and forth between the two in the comparison picture and think to yourself:

"Stop Light"...."Surprised Stoplight".... "Stop Light"... "Surprised Stoplight"

As a color blind person, this is ridiculous... i knew that Red(top) meant stop, green(middle) meant hurry!. and purple(bottom) meant go.

@4 - That is BRILLIANT!

Actually I was thinking about that too, same with @2, the triangle *much* more reminds me of going, and the square reminds me of stop. Which probably relates to the stop/play symbols.

I like it i have that exact problem with blinking lights if they had a shape to go with it it would be nice i cant tell if the light is red or yellow whens its standing alone

OMG!!!! how stupid u need to be to know that the one up is the STOP!!! ....nothing to do with color blindness!

Stupid black people and their damn colorblindness...

the idea is good...because in the night its not easy to see if its the upper light or the one in the middle.
but the shape could be redesigned...

uhm... when i went to quebec to snowboard FIVE YEARS ago, they already had stop lights with different shapes. The only difference was the lights were horizontal and not vertical

Um, traffic lights already have a way to determine the difference between the colors for colorblind people:

If the light is vertical, the top is always red. If the light is horizontal, the left light is the red one.

what about the actual blind.. trying to drive cars? Add them to the light and make it scream the status of the light. It'll have to be loud enough for them to hear it with their radio on full blast too.

This is nothing new....quebec has been rocking this idea since as long as I can remember (give or take 20 years)

Try being colorblind and driving at night.

Issue 1: Recognizing which light it is while you're in a moving vehicle.
Issue 2: Getting traffic signals confused with regular street lamps.

Yeah, it's easy to tell which one is which when you're sitting still at an intersection. People who aren't colorblind can tell at a glance what a colorblind person has to spend some processing time on.

Given that traffic signals have been switching to LEDs, there's no reason this shouldn't already have been done a few years ago.

Let's spell out stop, yield, and go in red, yellow, and green!

OMFG. How retarded.

The top is STOP
The middle is GET READY / YIELD
The bottom is GO

You don't need shapes. It's top, middle and fckn bottom!! If you can't recognize that simple arrangement of 3 lights you are not safe to drive.

PS - This is a complete genius innovation that we should see on every traffic light: http://infosthetics.com/archives/2009/12/eko_a_traffic_light_with_progress_bars.html

hmmm its already similar to this in Quebec... that is not new...

Seems like everyone is proud Quebec has been 'rockin' this idea for some time now apparently. Congratulations Quebec. You are the metropolitan equivalent to choking to death on your own drool.

FUC*K this! I drive 88mph wherever I go! I'm always trying to go Back to the Future. I can't stop or this bitch won't get up to speed since it's a pure iron car and I need sparks to shoot out of this bitch!

*OH SNAP! There goes my wheels and here comes the sparks!* It's time to go back to the mother fuc*ing future!

@22 Like someone already stated... TOP -- MIDDLE -- BOTTOM. If you didn't already tell the person you're color blind when you got your license, and you STILL haven't figure out this shit... then you really don't need to drive.

I mean, you must be mentally retarded to use shapes now. I mean, haven't these lights been around for a little while now? (The standard round ones) *sigh*

No shapes. they used the wrong ones for the appropriate symbol, triangle should be for yellow as yield signs in this country are triangles, square or octagon should be appropriate and an arrow or circle for green should be appropriate. people are colorblind so i see a use for shapes but hey we have the tech why dont we just beam the signal directly to your brain when you get close to the intersection, hell then we could put blind people behind the wheel and that's a whole new market to milk oh and the taxes my god that a lot of new revenue. Why not add Scent!! mmm coffee means GO, Bacon mean Yield, Stop could smell like bandaids and ectoplasme.

Redo: @6 thats what i meant in reference to signal order.
Could save some money if everyone just wore a helmet :)

A colorblind guy walks into a bar and orders a tequila sunrise. The bartender hands him an unstirred white russian. Because he can't tell the difference!

A hipster goes to an Apple store, walks up to the genius bar and orders an apple martini. They hand him an iPad with a martini background image and charge him $6000. The hipster pays with a $6666 bill and tells them to keep the change "for the magic" ....

I forget, what's the punch line?

As James (#6) says, Red should be an Octagon, Yellow should be triangular and Green should be round. Octagon and triangle are the international symbols for Stop and Yield presently. Trying to redefined language to suit art leads to Starbucks.

No need to read all the post to know we all agree they take us for idiots.
If only they could focus on making different shapes for ripe fruits...

Dude, the shapes are all wrong..

it should be square for red, triangle for yellow and round for green...

It doesn't matter what the fucking shapes are. Like GW said they already know by where the light is. This is just another cue. It's not the sole determinant on whether color blind people will stop or go.

they should just have used the good old stop, pause and play signs from media players

Not a bad idea, even if the shapes could be better designated. Not all traffic lights hang vertically; saying "TOP MIDDLE BOTTOM idiots!" solves nothing in places where the lights are put up horizontally, and not everywhere that does so places the red light on the left.

But, it's also true that some places make the red light larger than the others, and that's even easier.

I'm color blind, and I have to agree that the triangle should be green. Saying that, most lights are no problem, because red is on the top and green is on the fucking bottom.

Its when they put the damn things sideways that it fucks with me...

Hey I agree with #21!

I've seen these things in Canada since I was a little kid. Definitely NOT a new concept.

Where I come from, the light already have shape. The green is round, the yellow is triangle and the red is square. Why? Because a round wheel roll smoothly, a triangle one is not as smooth and the square will not even move. That's what the teach the kid, retard.

just like #18, #21 and #26 have pointed out.
In simpler words (the kind of words american can understand), Canada = smart, this design = dumb.

I really don't get the fact that they used a triangle for the red light.. It's like an arrow saying "GO AHEAD!"..

Looks like they've fallen for the old stereotype that anyone with a disability must be retarded. Only a real retard, who obviously isn’t colour-blind, would come up with this nonsense.
Funny how colour blind people have managed fine up till now.

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

#8....go fuck urself! I want to see what you've done to contribute to society loser!

Have only two lights, one being a red square and the other a blue triangle. The square is easily recognized as meaning stop (from movie/music players) and a triangle invokes the idea of a forward arrow. Instead of having a yellow light, just make the red light blink; people would probably be less likely to run the "slow down" light if it was the same one as the stop light. Blue would be a better color than green for the colorblind because the vast majority of colorblind people are either red/green or blue/yellow colorblind; virtually no one get red and blue mixed up. Also, many countries already have blue lights where we have green lights.

Really???! This isnt new we already have them in Canada... they look slightly different, but they are the same shapes/concept >:(

How about replace all traffic signals with the electronic billboard signs, and in the amber /orange letters spell it out:


can even do the Left turn Go if needed..

Super simple... No mistaking one for the other, large enough to be seen and read.. No issues for colorblind people.. Problem solved.

Like many others have said, we've had those signs in Canada for years... Except with a much better design.
I am not impressed with this post :(

Will they have these in Spanish shapes too?

I think the triangle should be in the middle with the orange, since the triangle means yeild, and on orange (specially flashing orange) you gotta yeild. Then stop should be the octagon like the stop signs.

Otherwise the idea/concept is kinda cool, but most people learn what it means already.

do none of you fuckers pass reading comprehension?
YES, Quebec has had these forever.
YES, the shapes are wrong.
but NO, this concept isn't completely retarded.
As 9 said- if it's dark, and presumably a badly lit intersection, a colorblind person doesn't have the visual reference of top, middle or bottom light- it's just a floating circle.

motherfucker, why did I have to type do instead of did?

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