Automated traffic lights surfaced in 1922, in Houston.Five years later, the country which started it all, Britain, got its first lights in Wolverhampton.FIRST TRAFIC LIGHTSPrior to the introduction of the mandatory, get it yourself driver's license, the Brits introduced the first traffic lights.
It required that a motorized vehicle, regardless of its purpose, be preceded by a man carrying a red flag when traveling on the highway (Brits use the highway term for any type of road, including streets and public footpaths).
FIRST LICENSE PLATESAs the number of vehicles on the roads increased, so did the authorities' need to keep track of them and their owners.
The first country to use them is reportedly France, which issued one in 1893.
Why then the need to create legislation to cover... With the industrial revolution still making its presence noticed, railroads and, more importantly, fields, began being flooded with traction-engined vehicles (aka road locomotives).
To get from place to place, locomotives had to cross urban, populated ares and, despite the fact the were slow, noisy and impossible to miss, they posed quite a threat to the innocent bystanders. Scared by the prospects of a respectable citizen getting squashed, as well as by the prospects of hearing one of the damn things huffing and puffing in the quiet of the night, the British Parliament adopted what became know as the Locomotive on Highways Act, in 1861.