• Morgan Fagg

Does The Traffic Light System work?

(My experience travelling to Ireland in December)


I love the Traffic Light System that we have known for over a hundred years but I think a billion people could have died in car accidents if the same system we use in Europe to stop the spread of Covid-19 was applied to actual traffic lights.


There can be no grey area here and only three colours are recommended for traffic lights otherwise we will find ourselves in a hit and miss scenario where we are coming and going when we should clearly be stopped.

Looking at this map, there doesn’t exactly seem to be fifty shades of green and ironically the only green area that I could see in late November was appropriately already called Greenland.

Clearly Lief Erickson was way ahead of his time when he named the place Greenland as he sold the place as being a prosperous agricultural land with such an attractive name compared to neighbouring Iceland.

They don’t come much greener than Greenland when it comes to this list but I don’t think we need traffic light system when only one small region gets a go.

Do not pass go, go directly to quarantine might be a better system as it looks like people will go broke trying to pretend that we have a Green, Orange and Red system.

On one map to muddy the map even further, It was Green, Red and Dark Orange.

The lights are on but nobody’s home as Greenland has never been the chosen hub for travellers unless we go back to the time of Lief Erickson when he travelled to the USA.

Red is for danger and warning but red means stop for traffic lights and as I travel from a red zone to Green, White and Orange Land, I am starting to question if I understand how traffic lights work.

Traffic Light Night

In college, there were Traffic Light nights where you picked a colour at the start of the night and everyone understood the system. Green was for single people, red for people in relationships and orange was for people in relationships who didn’t mind flirting with the opposite sex and seeing what happened.

We are flirting with disaster if we can’t clearly communicate the basics of safe areas and I remember hearing about the purple zones in Belarus when I travelled there. It was explained that the Purple Zone was contaminated by Chernobyl but I always wondered where they came up with the colour Purple and what other colours were used. personally I would have called it the Green Zone because of the radiation but Green doesn’t usually signify danger unless throwing grenades.

It sounds like we need triage but since no one knows what triage means, I will try to explain it knowing that now is not the time to educate people on colour coding systems.

There are usually four or five colours for triage, Red, Yellow, Blue, Black and Green.


I believe triage is a french word for sorting rubbish which should tell you the kind of mess you are in if you are using triage. I don’t know how to describe triage to be honest as different colours seem to represent different things and probably varies from system to system and country to country.

The idea is that we quickly identify who needs urgent care and a triage nurse for example would know that red is urgent whereas black means deceased. You have less serious injuries to attend to and then the least serious injuries to deal with and you can imagine that triage is a system that works well in an emergency situation or war zone.


You can imagine a plane crash for example where some passengers have passed away, some might be at dead's door requiring on-site amputations etc and others might have less critical injuries such as shock and dislocations.


If you believe this is an emergency and we are at war with the virus that you might agree that a Traffic Light system does not work here and I am always surprised at the mixed signals that we are given.


At the moment there is a ski-rink under construction for Christmas near my home which I am sure is a great idea as Madrid has already needed to use two ski-rinks as temporary morgues earlier in the year.


Can you imagine if we were building ice-rinks for Christmas only to store those same skaters there in the New Year? It doesn't make sense to me and we probably have to start thinking of this as a war.


Judging by the plastic igloo I saw, this ice rink is probably meant as a form of entertainment as Madrid blissfully wishes the virus away.


I don’t know what is the best way to communicate to people but I prefer to see more green lights when I travel around and all I see is a continent painted red.


Why do we have a grey area on a traffic light system? Is that for the Colour blind?

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© 2018 by Morgan Fagg.