Who Invented the Traffic Cone?

Who Invented the Traffic Cone?

Simple Design Increases Traffic Safety

In the early 1940s, Charles D. Scanlon invented the traffic cone that is known worldwide today. He was a painter for the Street Painting Dept. in Los Angeles when the idea arose. This idea probably came about due to the lack of safety while painting in the street. Surely, many accidents happened prior to this invention. Surprisingly, the first traffic cones were actually used in the UK in 1958 for the M6 motorway.

Now, traffic cones are widely used by companies and people worldwide. But, the actual patent for the traffic cone was approved in 1943. So, it took nearly 15 years before the UK willingly put the cones to use on the M6. This year, it’s been almost 60 years of traffic cone safety! And, to make it even better, cars are safer than ever! This is due to the newest tech in the auto industry such as fully autonomous EVs.

Traffic Cones Widely Used for Traffic Management

In modern times, the traffic cone is widely used for traffic management. By placing cones on the road, cars become aware of the upcoming hazards or dangers. Furthermore, cones redirect traffic around construction zones and other obstacles. Sometimes, traffic cones are in use in neighborhoods to warn of children at play. So, if a cone is in the street, always be sure to figure the situation and drive accordingly. Usually, a cone signals that the driver should use extreme caution ahead.

Not surprisingly, nowadays, the US Federal Highway Administration requires traffic cones while working on roadways. This is clearly written in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

The Traffic Cone Defines Safety on the Roadway

Road Cone Placing Machine Is Safer And More Efficient – Tech Insider – YouTube

Overall, the traffic cone defines safety on the roadway in the roadwork industry. From rerouting traffic to preventing accidents, traffic cones are an amazing invention. Sometimes, it’s important to take a look at the little things – the ones taken for granted. The traffic cone is a perfect example of one of these items. Without it, who knows how many people would’ve died working on roadways? Charles D. Scanlon’s idea has probably saved many lives since it came to be in existence. And, now with autonomous vehicles, safety shall only get better! In conclusion, let’s tip a hat to Mr. Scanlon on his highly protective invention.

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