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.