The Stop (as in Sign, not Traffic)

Stop Sign

No, seriously. Stop. Like all the way.

You’d think that since the automobile is over a century old and traffic control signs have been around just about as long, that folks would have an idea of what the most basic of them require.

Turns out, you’d be wrong.

Every week I conduct traffic stops. Every week I am astounded at the level of ineptitude in the modern driver.

Now, I understand that some signs can be confusing what with time exemptions (e.g., no turn between this time and that).

Don’t get me started on parking restrictions. Those are just stupid. Many moons ago (pre-Wife), I dated a girl who lived in San Francisco. I spent many hundreds of dollars in parking violations because I wasn’t going to get up between 0317 and 0352 to move my car so a street sweeper could clean that cess pool of a city. No offense, Happy Medic.

But I’m not talking about the confusing ones or the parking ones.

I’m talking about the easiest of all to understand: The Stop Sign.

Seems that one is deceptively difficult in what it requires one to do. Case in point:

I was sitting on a stop sign in a residential neighborhood this past week. There was a stop sign at the bottom of a hill. It was clearly marked with a sign erected on the right side of the road. There was the requisite limit line on the ground. There was also “STOP” painted on the roadway.

Pretty clear, right?

Imagine my (not) shock when a car came down the hill and cruised through the sign like it wasn’t even there.

On go the lights. Over pulled the car.

MC: “I stopped you for running the stop sign back there.”

Often, I am met with “what stop sign?!” or “I didn’t see it”.

Not this time. This time, the response was “That didn’t count as a stop?!”

MC: “No, ma’am. Particularly because you didn’t even attempt to do that very thing.”

Much to my dismay, I actually explained to her what a stop meant.

[Tweet “Stop: It means a complete cessation of movement. What you did is more like “Go”. See the difference?”]

How her utter lack of slowing, let alone stopping, equated to “counting” to this woman is completely beyond me.

On the plus side, Job Security.

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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10 thoughts on “The Stop (as in Sign, not Traffic)

  1. Feel free to patrol my subdivision. People going in and out here always run the three way stop sign near the entrance. And it’s drivers of both sexes and age groups that do it too.

  2. If I can’t count the amount of lug nuts on a wheel then you didn’t stop. Also annoying when people stop well beyond the stop bar and block the crosswalk.

  3. A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by MotorCop. He thinks that he is smarter than the MotorCop because he is sure that he has a better education. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at MotorCop’s expense.
    MotorCop says, “License and registration, please.”
    Lawyer says, “What for?”
    MotorCop says, “You didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign”
    Lawyer says, “I slowed down, and no one was coming.”
    MotorCop says, “You still didn’t come to a complete stop. License and registration, please.”
    Lawyer says, “What’s the difference?”
    MotorCop says, “The difference is you have to come to a complete stop, that’s the law. License and registration, please!”
    Lawyer says, “If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I’ll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket, if not you let me go and no ticket.”
    MotorCop says, “Exit your vehicle, sir.”
    At this point, MotorCop takes out his nightstick and starts beating the ever-loving snot out of the lawyer and says “Do you want me to stop or just slow down?”

  4. I think a large majority of people haven’t a clue as to what a stop at the limit line means. A complete cessation of movement. A slight “rock” back and you are then good to go through intersection.

  5. So, exactly what speed qualifies as a stop? My rule of thumb is 1/10th the speed limit.

    That generally works for me in the absence of uniformed professionals and pedestrians.

  6. I am starting to believe that a fair number of motorists believe reading the word STOP equals having done just that. (Cue child-like indignant pout with arms crossed) “I stopped! I know I stopped because I always stop there!” Well done on that 20MPH stop, sir. Here’s your ticket. Have a better day. Buh-bye.

  7. Glad MC doesn’t patrol in PA. I would be in a lot of trouble. But there are some stop signs I will always come to a complete stop because I have seen to many people run them.