Ask MC

I’ve quite the backlog of questions, so I’ll start with an easy one.

Lisa asked:
“If you come to a stop sign that ALSO has a stop line after it (10-12 feet behind sign), must you come to a complete stop before each of them?”
Believe it or not, that comes up more often than you’d think. I just stopped someone for running a stop sign two days ago and she was confused about where to stop as well. Which is funny since she didn’t friggin’ stop at all, but that’s beside the point.
The CVC offers up yet another provocative answer within CVC 22450(a).

The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop at a limit line, if marked, otherwise before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

If there is no limit line or crosswalk, the driver shall stop at the entrance to the intersecting roadway .

That about sums it up. The limit line is the key, not the physical vertical sign (if both are there). If there isn’t a marked limit line, use the closer crosswalk line. If neither exist, stop at the entrance to the intersecting roadway.
Listen, I know it’s not necessarily funny and/or entertaining, but the blog can’t always be about being a smartass, now can it? Oh…nope…there it is. Still a smartass.
Hope that clears it up for you, Lisa! Thanks for the question!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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13 thoughts on “Ask MC

  1. Question relating to this:

    When the specifics of laws like this are relatively unknown, what is the general procedure of an officer?

    Ignore it if they stop correctly at the sign?

    Pull them over and give a warning?

    Is there a way for officers to record warnings in a system, so the officer can see they received this exact warning before, and thus issue a citation?

    Or just issue a citation based on attitude (apologetic/sincere vs "wtf did you stop me for")?

    That's something I always wonder about, because I've heard it's illegal to park a car on the side of a residential road facing the "wrong way", even though I do it all the time.

    Until my friend told me, had I gotten a ticket for it, I would have been dumbfounded.

    I know ignorance of the law is no excuse, but it is kind of irritating when things kind of trivial bite you in the ass when you honestly had no idea.

    I love your Ask MC posts, I would love to see more!

  2. What about the intersections where you can't see f-all from the limit line? I have a lot of these in my town, since they will be at the intersection of a street where people park their cars along the side. This morning, i almost had a collision because I stopped, didn't see anything, but then when I started out into the intersection, there was a car coming that I hadn't seen because of all the cars parked in my line of vision.

  3. Brett- Texas has a warning system, but its county-specific. So when you get pulled over, and a cop writes you a warning ticket, if you get popped in the same county, you are screwed. I know this because I got two warning tickets in Texas in less than 24 hours, but a couple hundred miles apart (everything's big in Texas 😉 )

    Sometimes cops will puposely AVOID writing a citation for something like an equipment violation, because the guy driving the car looks like a dirtbag, and they want an excuse to pull him over again and again. If they actually cite him, he might get it fixed, and then no more excuse!

  4. You are so entertaining, and I love the fact that you are able to voice your true opinion!

    Keep up with the writing, and here's to wishing you and your new family are doing well!

    word verification – DERVE – what a driver does when he is trying to negotiate his way out of a swerve caused by dumba** driving. 😉

  5. What should we do if we see a police car stop over the limit line?

    I have seen this happen fairly frequently, but not sure whether it is worth a 911 call. Will the department want to see video before citing the officer for this infraction?

    Also, last week I saw a police car driving in the dark with a headlight out. What is the best way to report that infraction?

  6. Ah…there's always one…

    Cleanville, feel free to report it. Keep in mind, however, that there are times when we push the laws a bit because we're trying to get somewhere quickly. Not every detail we go to requires lites/sirens…nor does policy allow it, but I'd like to think folks like you would still want us to do our best to get where we're going to help someone in need.

    As far as the headlight is concerned, you could do the same thing I do 99% of the time when I see the infraction. Pull up next to the driver and tell him. You know, be a nice guy and not a whiny bitch.

  7. I am not sure why stopping over the limit line helps the policeman get to the scene of the crime faster. How does that work exactly?

    The problem with seeing the headlight out is that happened when I was going the opposite way from the policeman. That is why I wanted to call someone about his equipment infraction. I was in no position to pull up beside him.

  8. Really? I need to explain how not coming to a complete stop takes less time? Wow.

    Let me put it to you this way…I don't cite someone who goes through a stop at less than about 5-7 mph. Like I said, sometimes officers push the envelope and don't completely stop forward motion. I tend to let things like that slide for regular citizens as well. Call it my giving back.

  9. No. I am talking about when the policeman comes to a complete stop, but does so past the limit line.

    My one idea I had is making video's of that.

    What would you do if you saw a video of a policeman coming to a full stop, but doing so past the appropriate limit line?

  10. When I was in a car that got stopped for this the driver didn't get a ticket for it. Then again, he had actually stopped behind the correct line.

  11. MC, like you said my friend, there is always one!
    Some comments just can't be ignored and being honest with the answer that you wouldn't do anything to citizen or cop in that situation is excellent. Although the law is the law, the important matter is that they stop.
    Those kind of offences are great to identify a person who looked like they needed some police attention, not average Joe or Jane Schmoe heading home to their kids from work.
    Keep up the great work!

  12. My Driver's Ed teacher (remember those?) taught us newbies to stop first at the stop line, where ever it was, then, if we had poor visibility to see oncoming traffic, to move to where we could see, to stop there too. He said that if we only stopped once, at the place we could see, we technically ran the stop and could be ticketed. I have been doing this now for over 30 years–no tickets and no crashes.