traffic regulation, control of the movement of vehicles and pedestrians, chiefly on city streets. Formal regulation of motor vehicle traffic was instituted in New York City in 1903; a set of Rules for Driving was issued by the police commissioner, and a traffic squad was formed. Similar systems were soon adopted in cities all over the world. Since that time, as the volume of traffic has increased, a variety of control mechanisms have been developed to regulate the safe flow of traffic.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.