On 9 December 1868, the first non-electric gas-lit traffic lights were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London to control the traffic in Bridge Street, Great George Street, and Parliament Street. They were proposed by the railway engineer J. P. Knight of Nottingham who had adapted this idea from his design of railway signalling systems and constructed by the railway signal engineers of Saxby & Farmer. The main reason for the traffic light was that there was an overflow of horse-drawn traffic over Westminster Bridge which forced thousands of pedestrians to walk next to the Houses of Parliament. The design combined three semaphore arms with red and green gas lamps for night-time use, on a pillar, operated by a police constable. The gas lantern was manually turned by a traffic police officer with a lever at its base so that the appropriate light faced traffic. The signal was 22 feet (6. 7 m) high. The light was called the semaphore and had arms that would extend horizontally that commanded drivers to "Stop" and then the arms would lower to a 45 degrees angle to tell drivers to proceed with "Caution". At night a red light would command "Stop" and a green light would mean use "Caution".
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