Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Traffic Light

Above: The Way to Heaven

has some traffic lights which work in a ‘non-standard’ way. That is: the green light flashes a few times before the yellow light comes on.

Once upon a time, in the city of Ipoh, the abusive police officers issued tickets to motorists who crossed a junction when the yellow light was lit. The obedient Malaysians accepted this as a valid traffic offence. Or they got off lightly by bribing the men in uniform. To help motorists escape fine, the Public Works Department of Malaysia devised a new traffic light system with flashing green light.

In ‘standard’ system, green light means ‘go’, yellow light means ‘prepare to stop’, and red light means ‘stop’. In the non-standard system, however, flashing green light takes on the role of yellow light, while yellow light gives the same message as red light.

Actually, the Public Works Department can install two-set lights without the yellow lamp. That would lower the cost as well as reduce maintenance works. Isn’t that a brilliant idea?


  1. Would this doing away with the amber light be contradicting the world norm, I wonder. On the other hand, sometimes the world norm may not always be the right norm, eh? Good food for thought though.

  2. Interesting traffic lights! Actually in REAL M'sian context, yellow light means "prepare to speeeeeeddd!!" XD

  3. Yeah! In Malaysia, Flashing green. Keep speeding. :p

  4. LOL. flashing green light means GO FASTER!

  5. well, yellow light for many Malaysian is GO GO GO.. before its turn red.. hahah.. what a sad thing for the traffic light designer huh??

    I like the pic description: the way to heaven.. kakakakak

  6. happysurfer
    I agree than world norm may not be always right. But why make the yellow light redundant?

    kyh, tekkaus, xin
    Haha... gotta agree with you.

  7. 彬天雪谛
    Oops, I was typing as you post...

  8. Never seen any flashing green in Canada! We do have yellow which equals to speed speed speed!

  9. errr, the flashing green light is not abnormal, many countries have that instead.. but your idea of only red and green is somehow fantastic, the flashing green is just sufficient to substitute the amber light.. :)

  10. Hey! I like this photo! From this angle it looks as if we are supposed to be heading up the Twin Towers! Haha

  11. I think you got it all wrong. Green light means Go! Yellow light means speed up, which means faster than Go! And Red light means prepare to stop but go if no cars from other directions. LOL!

  12. Nice to know about the history of this unique culture in Malaysia.

  13. really like that? can't believe it!
    why Msia so xiao punya :P

  14. i thought yellow means ready to stop?
    now flashing green = yellow..
    kinda redundant eh? =P


  15. i prefer those traffic lights with count-down time ^O^

  16. Zhu
    Looks like Canadian drivers are like Malaysians, LOL...

    According to Wikipedia, there are a few other countries with flashing green light.

    Yellow means speed up only when the police are not around.

  17. Leon
    Not a good history, really...

    Now only you know Malaysians are xiao?

    Yes, yellow is redundant.

    Ah... I also like count down timer.

  18. Yellow means try to beat the red light..hehe.

  19. Speed up before the police sees you.