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traffic lights

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I used to believe that the traffic lights were operated by a miniature person who hid close to the traffic lights so he could direct traffic. I thought that he used a remote control to do this!

Goatgirl
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The UK has box junctions (I don't know whether other countries have them) at some traffic light controlled junctions. You are not allowed to stop in the box when traffic from the ahead is queuing back to the junction. I thought that the yellow box held a load of glue and you could only avoid getting the car tyres/tires stuck on the box if you were driving fast enough across the junction!

crobzub
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my dad denies it now, but he told me that the queen/ police men lived in the boxes that operate the traffic lights. u no, those one about a meter high and 50 cm wide?? ya. and i used to think that various wild animals lived in the big power boxes.

well and truly confused
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I distinctly remember being told that the red traffic lights were red because they were flames, and that to turn the light green we had to blow out the fire. And to think of all the time I spent huffing and puffing at the windshield! Never once occurred to me to ask "How will the air I blow get through the windshield to put out the light?"

Jo
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my parents had us all believe that in order to change the traffic lights from red to green, we had to blow at them really hard and they would change. i have also instilled this into my kids , i find it sweet that they work so hard to keep our journey going - lets hope they aren't naughty like me though and blow them again when were through so that all the other cars are stuck there lol !

fairy
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I always knew that the beeping noise traffic lights made when you cross the street was to alert blind people - but for the longest time i just assumed it was to warn the blind drivers so they wouldn't run anyone over!!

Sophie
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When I was little I thought that my dad had the ability to guess when the traffic light would turn green. He would start counting down, "3... 2... 1..." and then almost every time the light turned green. I'd try to guess, too, but I was almost always wrong. It wasn't until I was about 12 that I realized that all you have to do is look at the light going the opposite direction, and start counting when it turns yellow...

Anon
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When i was a little kid a believed that when we stood at a red traffic light with our car, i have to beg of it that it becomes green. Not in spoken words but in my thoughts. So i always spoke with the traffic light in my thoughts. Some of them needed some time to be to be persuaded (i thought they had a bad day or something), but eventually they all indulged.


[To the site-owner who reads this first: I'm german, so my english is not the best. Please feel free to correct my spelling! Thanks, great site btw :)]

Florian
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Until about age seven, when underground traffic light sensors were explained to me, I believed that traffic lights were actually much bigger than they looked to me from the car- also that there were little elf-like men in green suits sitting inside them at all times, choosing when to change the light. I used to smile really big at the bottom light to impress them, so we could get wherever we were going faster.

Alix
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My parents used to tell me that the yellow traffic light meant to go faster instead of use caution. I guess it makes sense because that's what everyone does anyways.

Anon
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My mom used to tell me that blowing at red lights made them turn green. I did so dutifully, amazed that it always worked (eventually). I learned the truth only when I started furiously blowing at lights in a friend's car.

Anon
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When I was a little girl, I used to believe that if I didn't use the zebra crossing on the white stripes I would die in the lave. So everytime I saw a zebra crosing I walked just on yhe white stripes. Now when I see a zebra crossing I still think about this belife but I resist and I don't walk on the stripes !

cccc
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I used to think that traffic lights were the strings of lights some shops have up at Christmas. I was realy unhappy when I found out the truth because I felt they needed a wider variety of colours!

I also used to think that traffic jams were caused by jars of jam that were left in the road and stopped the cars moving. It made sense at the time!

Penny, England
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I used to believe that at dusk someone would turn on a switch that would give traffic lights more power so the red, yellow and green could shine brighter, so drivers could see them better. After all, it was dark, and the lights looked brighter to me. Near sun-up, I believed that they would turn the power back down so the lights would not be as bright during daylight, because they didn't need to be.

And this was long before any energy crisis.

Vicki J.
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My dad had convinced me and my sister that he was in control of the traffic lights because when he said green it would turn green. Only recently did me,17 and my sister,20 realize that they were timed and after a few seconds of the other lights turning red, ours would turn green. :)

hannah
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I thought that when you crossed the road that you kept your arms in the same position as the green man. The same goes to the red man by standing with your arms to the side of you.

Helen
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When I was like 2 or 3 my mom convinced me that if we tried hard ebough ... we could get the traffic light to turn green ... we did this by naming green things ...green grass green eyes green shirt green socks greaan umbrella and so on - lolz

Alanna
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My sister and I used to believe that my Dad could correctly predict when the stop light would turn green. We would try to out guess him but always lose. It wasn't until I was about 7 that I realized that the stop light going the other way turned yellow right before our light turned green...

Ray
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I used to believe my dad when he said he was psychic and could tell me the exact moment when the light was going to turn green. I would watch in amazement as the light would turn green right as dad would say "now". I thought he was magic.

Tonya
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I thought that the red traffic lights were for Chinese people. It then was their turn to drive...

Joseffa Trip
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