On 9 December 1868, the first non-electric gas-lit traffic lights were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London to control the traffic in Bridge Street, Great George Street and Parliament Street. The main reason for the traffic light was that there was an overflow of horse-drawn traffic over Westminster Bridge which forced thousands of pedestrians to walk next to the Houses of Parliament. The design combined three semaphore arms with red and green gas lamps for night-time use, on a pillar, operated by a police constable. The gas lantern was manually turned by a traffic police officer with a lever at its base so that the appropriate light faced traffic. Although it was said to be successful at controlling traffic, its operational life was brief. It exploded on 2 January 1869 as a result of a leak in one of the gas lines underneath the pavement and injured the policeman who was operating it.