Stop Signs Are Not Suggestions

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It has happened to every driver out there—you are at a stop sign waiting to proceed through an intersection or make a turn, when out of nowhere comes another vehicle blazing by you. The driver had no regard for the stop sign now only visible in their rear-view mirror. While you shake your head in disbelief, consider yourself fortunate as an accident with one of these careless drivers could be critical.

Stop signs do serve a purpose. While people may find a sign in a particular area unnecessary and feel there is no reason to stop, research is done before a sign is posted. Contributing factors for stop sign placement include:

  • Traffic volume
  • Number of crashes at an intersection
  • A busy road crossing a less traveled road
  • An obstructed or restricted view

While some drivers may find traffic laws regarding stop signs confusing, the following is crystal clear. When approaching a stop sign, a driver must make a complete stop before the white stop line painted on the road. If there is no line, the beginning of a crosswalk serves as the stop line. If neither one is on the road, the driver must slowly pull into the intersection and stop when there is a clear view of any approaching vehicles before proceeding.

Even with this knowledge, other factors contribute to accidents at intersections with stop signs. Drivers who make what is known as a rolling stop (slowing down but not stopping completely) are more at risk to cause an accident. Drunk drivers, distracted drivers or someone texting can easily blow past a stop sign. In addition, a stop sign that is extended and flashing on the side of a school bus means vehicles in both directions must stop and remain stopped until the bus driver pulls the sign back.

A stop sign is an important part of our traffic laws. It serves as a safety measure to help reduce speed on local roads and prevent crashes at intersections by dictating who must yield the right of way. Drivers who ignore stop signs are putting other motorists and pedestrians in danger. If you have been injured in an accident due to someone’s blatant disregard of a stop sign, you have rights. Contact a qualified and experienced attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C., to have these reckless drivers held responsible for their actions.