Here is my effort to collect and preserve traffic light videos and audio.
I find it quite interesting when a taken-for-granted piece of everyday life, like a traffic light, is brought to front-and-center attention, either through a discussion, in the news, in a song, or in a commercial. I've compiled a collection of traffic light videos and audio that will continue to grow. And they span quite a wide range throughout history. The earliest ones are from the 1930s while the newest ones are news clips or computer animated shorts.
I directed, shot, and edited this video. It follows the guys from Twin Green Traffic Signals around during a typical traffic signal reclamation pick-up. Find more information about them at www.TwinGreenOnline.com
The excerpt from a 1950s film about careful driving features some old traffic lights and sequences which are non-standard by today’s regulations.
Mr. Rogers is visited by his good friend Mr. McFeely, who shows a video on how traffic signals are assembled. Mr. Rogers then demonstrates his own traffic light. Watch more of the PBS series Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood at Amazon.com
In episode 1146, which originally aired March 8, 1971, Mr. Rogers needs to replace the lightbulb in his traffic light.
Mr. Rogers has his TV audience play a little exercise game of top-middle-bottom with the lights on his traffic signal in episode 1250 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Watch more of the PBS series Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood at Amazon.com
In episode 1181 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Mr. Rogers lends his traffic light to his good friend, Officer Clemmons. Watch more of the PBS series Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood at Amazon.com
In episode 1460 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Mr. Rogers must replace a burned out bulb in his traffic light.
In episode 0097, Handyman Negri stops by Mr. Rogers' to fix his telecan, which apparently needs the traffic light to function in order to work.
Mr. Rogers discusses what the colors of a traffic light mean in episode 0090 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
In episode 1366, which aired on April 15, 1974, Mr. Rogers' adopted sister stops by with her kids. One of them shows an interest in the traffic light.
In episode 1182 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Officer Clemmons returns Mr. Rogers' traffic light to him after borrowing it the day before.
In “Red Light Green Light”, episode 23 of Season 1 of Bewitched, Samantha has to convince her mother that help is not needed in choosing a traffic light for Morning Glory Circle. Watch Bewitched on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Phil, from Twin Green, asked that I document a large shipment of traffic signals that we was preparing that would go to the Dominican Republic. Over a day and a half, the crew filled a large trailer full of signals, while keeping each other entertained.
On the 1990s TV show Beakman’s World, someone writes in asking how traffic lights know when to change. Look for the show on Netflix. I thought this show was great and watched it whenever I could, but had never seen this episode. By the way, I have a signal exactly like the one behind Beakman.
A clip form Season 01 Episode 15 of The Munsters finds Herman losing his patience after repeatedly pressing the crosswalk button at an intersection.
This clip from is from the 1966 television series The Munsters. In season 2 episode 31 “Herman’s Lawsuit”, Herman tangles with a traffic light and pedestrian signal while trying to cross the street. It all works out in the end. You can watch more of The Munsters on Amazon.
One couple up on HGTV’s Flea Market Flip turns a traffic light into a functional and working piece of furniture. They opted to build a wooden frame and make a pretty cool bench.
During the intro to the History Channel’s “The Epic History of Everyday Things” a quick nod is given to the first traffic light and the unfortunate event it was part of.
In 2012, Utah TV station KSL reports on the 100th birthday of Lester Wire’s traffic light design.
Mr. Bean witnesses, what he considers to be, a loophole to get through a red light.
Popeye, Olive Oil, and Whimpy come across more than just a mirage during their journey through the desert.
In 1979, Mattel Games introduced their line of Funtronic Games, including “Red Light Green Light”. I don’t remember if I got this for Christmas or my birthday, but I’ve had it ever since, and it still works.
Clark County, Washington is continuing to replace incandescent traffic and pedestrian signals.
MDOT explains the benefits of the new LED traffic lights that are replacing old technology.
Fellow signal enthusiast John Kates recorded the entire LED conversion of two Crouse-Hinds Type DTs in North Carolina.
The Teletubbies learn what to do when they come to a traffic light. Or as they call it, a signal light.
Parts I and II of “Traffic Signal Systems – Go For The Green” from The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Part I is General and Part II is Technical
Although we never see a traffic light, this episode of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet chronicles the only-on-TV speed of a traffic light installation at an intersection in town.
Popeye and Brutus fight over Olive Oil for her fare. She inadvertently ends up controlling traffic.
One of the gremlins wreaks havoc with an open controller cabinet at a 4-way intersection with a Crouse-Hinds Type D/DT cluster.
A bizarre video of a traffic light and pedestrian signal that seemingly have minds of their own.
In this local piece, Gainesville, Georgia, traffic signal engineer gets a visit from an “irate” resident who received a ticket for running a red light.
Serious Church News tackles the issue that faulty traffic lights are the work of Satan.
Sponsored by Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation, the 1937 Handy (Jam) Organization short film Seeing Green looks inside of the electro-mechanical "brain" of the traffic light.
A designer helps these parents make over a transportation-themed bedroom for some kids on season 4, episode 10 of A&E’s now-cancelled show Find & Design.
A 4-way traffic light is front and center in this drag racing scene in Universal's The Fast and the Furious.
Footage that I personally shot of the famous Tipperary Hill up-side-down traffic light in Syracuse, New York in the winter of 2005. This signal has red on the bottom and green on the top, the only signal like it in the country. Learn more about it by reading more about it on Wikipedia.com.
John "Signalfan" Rietveld is once again a television star. In a story by KCCI 8 news anchor Eric Hanson, John's Signal Museum is highlighted along with a little background as to why he finds signs and signals so fascinating.
HGTV’s Offbeat America, a show that highlighted the owners of eclectic homes and collections, featured Signalfan John Rietveld.
First airing in episode 0131 on November 9, 1970, this season 2 Sesame Street film film explained what the colors of the traffic light mean and how good it is that we have traffic lights. This film would later appear during other episodes.
The mascot of this school is a traffic signal that thinks he's kind of funny.
Mike and Frank from American Pickers are picking in upstate New York when they come across the bones of an old Crouse-Hinds dummy signal. When the signal makes it back to Iowa, John “Signalfan” Rietveld is called to offer his expertise along with a photo from collector “NevadaWillis”. See more of American Pickers on The History Channel.
American Pickers grabs a nice 3-way Crouse-Hinds beacon needing a little TLC. One thing he didn’t notice was the missing reflector in the side he opened up. Also, traffic lights all used standard medium base bulbs, albeit a different wattage depending on the size or era of the signal.
From Disney-Pixar’s “Mater’s Tall Tales”, Mater and his new friend wreak havoc around Radiator Springs, including messing with one signalfan trying to enjoy his evening.
ABC News reports on a problem unique to the newer, energy-efficient traffic lights that only happens in the colder winter months plagued by snow.
A wind-twisted traffic light is to blame for the death of a motorcyclist in Detroit, Michigan.
In 2013, this Japanese inventor developed a way to avoid the sun phantom effect on traffic lights.
Leo the Truck builds a traffic light to help get through an intersection.
This clip from the 1950s film called “Law and Social Control” features a couple of old signals, one with command lenses.
Canadian TV show "Acme School of Stuff" showing how mechanical controllers work to run traffic lights.
An interview with one of the engineers from the Boulder, CO signal lab.
This video highlights how the work zones are safer because of these portable traffic signals.
In season 3 episode 13 of the 1995 TV show "The Adventures of Pete & Pete", bus driver Stu is stuck at a seemingly never-ending red light.
We get a glimpse as to what the night brings in the show "The Amazing World of Gumball".
This scene from "The Notebook" features Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams getting to know each other below a Crouse-Hinds Type D/DT 4-way signal. This was shot at the intersection of King Street and Mary Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Don't bother checking Google maps for the signal. It was brought in as a prop specifically for this scene.
In the 1969 film, The Italian Job, traffic signals are programmed to fail during an attempt to steal gold from a convoy.
Homer learns how advantageous it is to be a vampire.
In an effort to save its reputation, Springfield goes uber patriotic and changes the colors of their traffic lights to red, white, and blue.
After a traffic study is done in Springfield, signals are modified to keep traffic moving more efficiently.
Homer's rationale seems bulletproof when running a red light.
Because Homer failed to make the computer code Y2K compliant at the nuclear plant, even the traffic lights go berserk..
Lyrics from the droning sounds of Monty Python’s I Like Traffic Lights.
SciTech Now put a video together to explain how the signals in Central Florida, and around the country work.
The town of Holyoke, Massachusetts is suffering from signal malfunctions due to an aging infrastructure.
Animated short film Going Green, by Thiago S. Aranha. Made for the Digital Film and Animation MA at the London Metropolitan University.
A clip from Cookie Jar Productions children’s cartoon “Caillou”.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of the NPR radio show Car Talk, have a puzzler that hints about a design flaw that newer traffic signals can have, depending on the time of year.
The City of Eugene controls more than 225 intersections with traffic signal devices.
Curious George is puzzled as to why people seem to like the red lights and not the green lights. They'll stop and look at the red lights, but move right along when the lights are green.
News 10 reports how Clifton Park, New York is expanding county intersections to include provisions for generator hook-ups for traffic signals.
Handy Manny is asked by the mayor to fix a malfunctioning traffic light in town. I created my own edit to remove the disappearance and search for Squeeze. You can watch more Handy Manny on Amazon Prime and Disney Now.
WLNY News 10/55 reports on a software glitch that causes about 5% of the traffic signals in New York City to malfunction.
On the YouTube channel Practical Engineering, Grady discusses the intricate design and implementation of traffic control devices and how they're engineered to make travel safer and easier.
This was a public service announcement video from 1968 explaining to “cross on the green, not in between.”
This Discovery show features the McCain traffic signals in production, from start to finish. Factory Made is no longer airing, but How It's Made takes its place. Watch it on The Science Channel at www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/how-its-made
This 1983 Eyewitness News segment features the poor maintenance of existing street signs and signal equipment in the city of New York.
San Francisco Traffic Engineer Eddie Tsui shows us some of the traffic control technology from computer simulations to ever-evolving detection technologies.
A homeowner escapes being severely injured after a car slams into his house, sending a traffic signal into his living room.
National Geographic takes a look into whether or not a traffic signal thwarted a first shot at JFK.
Video captures traffic lights collapsing across busy intersection.
A couple of scenes from USA Network's Mr. Robot, featuring a 3-way cluster traffic signal outfitted with red-light cameras. These cameras are actually just detection cameras used to trigger the controller to change the light — not take pictures. Oh, Hollywood. You can catch Mr. Robot on Amazon Prime.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development put together a great video that explains what makes up a traffic signal, along with all of its components, and shows how they work.
What to do at a traffic light from driver school All Star Driver Education
Lindau Lane Traffic Signal Timing Project improves traffic flow in a Minnesota town.
A news story from Chevrolet Leader News which discusses a 15-year safety record for a school crossing, featuring some nice Crouse-Hinds Art Deco signals.
Nina and Star on The Goodnight Show demonstrate how to make a traffic light bookmark. The channel is great for toddlers. Visit them at www.SproutOnline.com or check television listings for the Sprout Network.
In this 2014 video, Siemens celebrates 100 years of the traffic light, it's history and what Siemens is doing for the future of traffic control.
Road Guy Rob goes over the different ways traffic signals make it your turn to get the green light. Rob has a great channel on YouTube that explains in detail stuff about, well... roads. And stuff. I highly recommend visiting the Road Guy Rob channel on YouTube.
From the TomTom YouTube channel, John Cleese sings about liking traffic lights.
Short clip I shot of an Acme semaphore style signal that can be found at Universal Studios Orlando.
Frosty the Snowman isn't quite up on traffic control technology and doesn't know what a traffic light is.
Twin Green Traffic Signals hosts an annual meet-up for enthusiasts, collectors, and others in the industry for a long weekend to buy, sell, trade, and talk about all things traffic control.
In true Monk style, Adrian likes to play by the rules, even when it comes to faulty traffic and pedestrian signals. Watch more episodes of Monk on Amazon Prime Video.
This public service message from the UK demonstrates how to use a Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing, also known as a PELICON Crossing.
Season 4, episode 25 of Ed, Edd, n Eddy's "Take This Ed and Shove It", we see Sarah working as a traffic light.
Flashing yellow arrows are being tested out in Burbank to see how effective they are before installing at other intersections.
In Washington State, Clark County Public Works is installing battery backup systems at key traffic signals to help prevent accidents during power failures.
Australian TV show A Current Affair ran a story about a Melbourne man who is being accused of stealing traffic signals despite a prearranged agreement.
In the 1960 film Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour literally has a run-in with a traffic signal in the form of a flashing beacon. I hope they didn't have to reshoot that action too many times. Ouch.
Tom and Jerry obey traffic signals, just like all of the other cats and mice. Tom's just not as careful.
From 2021, the movie "Tom and Jerry" features Tom experiencing an unlikely run-in with a traffic signal while trying to get a selfie in Manhattan.
In the Hall Monitor episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants, Sponge Bob realizes his great responsibility as being a hall monitor extends beyond school.
In the 1966 TV series Batman, the Penguin is enjoying his drive around Gotham City in the Batmobile. He stops at an intersection controlled by an Acme traffic signal, evidence that the series was shot in California, and likely a back lot. From season 1, episode 22, "Not Yet, He Ain't".
South Park's Season 12, episode 7 Super Fun Time sees Cartman and Butters using a traffic signal pole to make their way back into a school trip. I edited this clip to cut out some of the other goings-on.
A scene from a classic 1944 film The Woman in the Window featuring Edward G. Robinson screeching to a stop at a fixed 4-way traffic light with four semaphore arms.
Road Guy Rob looks into why some traffic signals are mounted sideways.
In this clip from Sesame Street, the number three has a well-known configuration.
A Linus Tech Tips Tech Quickie about why you get stuck at red lights.
in the US version of the children's show Hi-5, Kimee sings about how traffic lights work, while Jub Jub steals her thunder.