Traffic lights were invented previous to 1900. In England they were used to stop the flow of horse buggies and people crossing streets. In the US, they were developed and transformed after cars were being made here in the late 1800’s. The first formal electric traffic light was developed in 1912 by a man in Utah, using red and green lights, but the patent was not purchased for it. The next year another man with the name James Hoge, received the patent for a manual electric traffic light..