Social Question

gondwanalon's avatar

How can people be persuaded to stop at stop signs?

Asked by gondwanalon (12426 points ) June 1st, 2010

Is a hefty fine the solution? I recently took a one day defensive driving course in which there was a long discussion on stopping at stop signs. Evidently people don’t realize that they are not coming to a full stop or just don’t care when they they roll on through stop signs. The only time people stop at stop signs is when there are pedestrians in the cross walk or there are on coming traffic (or they see a cop). My statement the the defensive driving instructor was “You are asking us to do what almost all other drivers including cops don’t do”.
I know why people don’t stop at stop signs. Coming to a complete stop at a stop sign (when there are no pedestrians of on coming traffic) is painful in that it seems like your world grinds to a dead halt while the rest of the world rushes ahead of you.
Perhaps the old stop sign is a relic of the past and should be replaced with the yield sign?

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54 Answers

Seek's avatar

You know those spike bar things that pop up at the entrance to the parking garage? That would do it.

mrentropy's avatar

If you put a yield sign in place of a stop sign than people would be more likely to keep going if there’s a car coming. If your world grinds to a halt because you stop for three seconds then there are deeper issues that need to be addressed.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Shoot them if they don’t comply?

Cruiser's avatar

The stop sign does serve a purpose even on empty streets…as a revenue generator.

njnyjobs's avatar

put a barrier that goes up when it senses a vehicle after 3 seconds.

ucme's avatar

Naked nubile, eager nymphos. Employed in a strategically placed beer garden.Would do it for me no doubt.

lillycoyote's avatar

An intersection with four yield signs? That could get interesting.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Drop a piano on their car if they blow the stop sign ;)

Randy's avatar

I don’t really see a problem. I mean, most people slow down enough to check for any pedestrians/oncoming vehicles/other hazards and most cops are ok with the how it all works out. Occasionally, you get a cop that will pull a person over for it but like you said, most of them just slow down enough to count it as a stop like most people do. Is the stop sign system really broken? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I’m curious to know how many accidents are caused by people ignoring stop signs which is stupid and dangerous or rolling through them.

That having been said, I think speed bumps right before the stop signs would help slow people down and cause those idiots who ignore stop signs to bottom out.

mrentropy's avatar

@KatawaGrey I’m against speed bumps at stop signs. Actually, I’m against them altogether. I can’t imagine an ambulance needing to get somewhere in a hurry and having to navigate speed bumps.

Also, when I was driving a BMW 325ci it would bottom out on speed bumps going around 2mph, unless I did some weird diagonal maneuvers.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“How can people be persuaded to stop at stop signs?”

Turn them into sex billboards.

njnyjobs's avatar

@mrentropy an ambulance or any emergency vehicle with their lights and sirens on can easily avoid the speed bump by driving on the other side of the road bypassing the speedbump. But, fact of the matter is that in most states and municipalities, emergency vehicles are not exempt from the Stop Sign regulation.

Silhouette's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies That would work. If they would allow hookers to loiter around stop signs most people would stop and gawk for an eternity. Like the rubberneckers watching a car wreck they would be loathe to leave the area. lol

Blackberry's avatar

There’s no reason to stop at a sign if you can already see if there is oncoming traffic or people. It’s as simple as that. You stop only if you can’t see around the corners.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Silhouette Yeah they could even sell snow cones and send everyone away with a smile.

But not because of the snow cones.

reverie's avatar

Sorry to take this a little bit off-topic, but are Stop signs very common in the USA? Here (in the UK) they are really not at all common, and tend to be reserved for junctions where visibility is really poor (e.g., at junctions where huge hedges/walls obscure the view). I rarely see them. At most junctions we have Give Way signs (equivalent of your Yield sign, I am guessing!), and these seem to work really well.

@lillycoyote Do you find Stop signs at four-way junctions where you live? Here that is absolutely unheard of, we would either have four sets of traffic lights if it’s in a very built-up/hazard-prone area, or a roundabout (much more common), where we’d always just give way to the right.

I love hearing about these differences in traffic management (as geeky as that may sound) – it’s really interesting the way different countries do things!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Oh my goodness…there are reasons for stop signs. And good luck trying to convince law makers that all stop signs should be changed to yield signs. Hmmm, I wonder how many accidents that would cause.

Blackberry's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Just because there are reasons for it does not make it a sound reason. If we always slowed down at yellow lights, some of us would screech to a halt in the middle of the intersection. You have to use common sense with some rules.

@reverie Yes it fascinates me too, there are many stop signs here. In some residential neighborhoods, they are at every single block, even when the speed limit is 25.

Seek's avatar

I visited Bonaire, NA for my honeymoon. It’s an island roughly the size of the town I live in, with about half the population.

There are two (count em’ TWO) stop signs on the whole damned island. One of them is where a two-lane road becomes a one-way street, right at a precipice. The other is at the entrance to the oil refinery. No stoplights, no yield signs. It’s taken as read that the smaller roads yield to the bigger roads, and everyone gets along fine.

It’s our jack-assed American “I need to get there FIRST!” mentality that gets people killed.

Val123's avatar

I slow waaaaay down, but if I don’t have to I don’t come to a complete stop. That’s a waste of time.

Val123's avatar

The stop signs in my town have absolutely no rhyme or reason. If I wanted to rename the place after a saint, I’d call it “Our Lady of Random Stop Signs.” It really sucks because unless you know one is there, it’s easy to be caught by surprise.

Cruiser's avatar

@Val123 The stop signs are crucial in my town to slow down and even discourage the antsy drivers in our neighborhoods. Posted 25 mph usually means people will drive 35 mph and the stop signs are the only way to slow them down.

Val123's avatar

@Cruiser LOL! Well, another name for my town could be “Our Lady of Deep Dips!” You have to deal with them on virtually every street, except Main. It’s impossible to go fast anywhere unless you want to rip the undercarriage off of your car! I don’t complain about them though, because they DO slow people down.

lillycoyote's avatar

@reverie The four-way stop sign intersections are mostly in suburban housing developments and neighborhoods, and on rural roads.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies has a great idea. If the stop signs flash a nudie once the cars have stopped for a particular amount of time then people might go for it. On the flipside would be the drivers who would sit on the stops to check out how many different nudies would be displayed or not pay attention to when it was time to go forward again.

Val123's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Uh….speaking from a female’s POV, I’d be runnin’ ‘em left and right!

john65pennington's avatar

One motorist asked me one day, “at 3 am, when there is no other cars around, do i still have to stop at a stop sign?” i replied, “yes” and here is why: if you run a stop sign at 3 am, you will run a stop sign at 3 pm. its called the stop sign habit. if a person changes their driving habits, they become less defensive and less defensive means a fortcoming accident.

Val123's avatar

@john65pennington Do I HAVE to stop ALL THE WAY?????

Seek's avatar

I don’t mind stopping at a stop sign. I do mind stopping at a RED LIGHT at 3 AM in the middle of bumfuck Egypt with no one around for miles and having to sit there for 17 minutes waiting for the goddamned thing to change because you know there’s some bored out of his mind cop sitting on the side of the road with his lights off just waiting to give me a ticket.

mrentropy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr It’s even worse if it has one of those pressure pads or metal detectors, and it isn’t working.

Val123's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr when were you in Kansas at 3 a.m.? And why didn’t you call me?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@mrentropy That drives me crazy! There’s one in front of the place where I work, and I always have to drive forward and backward just to get the thing to trigger!

mrentropy's avatar

@Dr_Dredd I read a blog once that a guy wrote. He rode a motorcycle and it seems that there wasn’t enough metal on the bike to trigger it. He tried asking the township how much metal it takes to kick it off, but they wouldn’t tell him. He ended putting a bunch of metal things in his saddle bags until it would trigger.

Val123's avatar

@mrentropy My guess is it would be the weight, not the metal. But…I don’t know!

mrentropy's avatar

@Val123 That’s what I always thought did the trigger. But this guy just wrote about the amount of metal. I suppose he could have been mistaken and that’s why nobody would tell him the weight needed.

Val123's avatar

Hm. Maybe he just didn’t think it through? Weight is uber simple to work with. Metal would require detectors and electricity and stuff…...

mrentropy's avatar

We need inside information from JohnPennington.

Val123's avatar

Yes we do!

mattbrowne's avatar

Reduce the number of stop signs and put them in places where they really make sense.

Val123's avatar

@mattbrowne For Mayor!!!

mrentropy's avatar

I’m still in favor of the random stop light with no yellow light.

Val123's avatar

@mrentropy Glutton for punishment, aren’t ya! Yeah, and at random times, while everyone is in bed, they could change the locations of the stoplights! And then, sometimes make them all green with no yellow and no red. And then just switch up the colors at times!

mrentropy's avatar

@Val123 Toss in colors like purple and blue, too.

Val123's avatar

@mrentropy That’s the ticket!! LOL! GREAT idea!

mattbrowne's avatar

Roundabouts are also a good idea.

Modern roundabouts are particularly common in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Morocco, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Denmark, Germany, and France. Half of the world’s roundabouts are in France. The first modern roundabout in the United States was constructed in Summerlin, Nevada in 1990, and roundabouts have since become increasingly common in North America.

Val123's avatar

@mattbrowne I had my first experience with roundabouts a few years ago….I, personally, think they’re more dangerous than a stop sign. They’re totally confusing…..

mattbrowne's avatar

@Val123 – It’s takes a while to get used to. But then you’ll realize they are fantastic !

mrentropy's avatar

Is a “roundabout” the same as a “circle?” You get on in one spot, drive around in a circle until you get to the point where you need to hop off to go where you want to go?

Val123's avatar

@mrentropy Yes. But you have people approaching from four sides all jumping into this circle! I’m not used to it by any means, but I’ve only used one a handful of times.

mrentropy's avatar

There used to be one in a town in New Jersey I went through all the time. On Route 10, I think. It must’ve been old because there was a huge, ancient tree in the center of it. Never had a problem there until they cut down the tree and replaced the circle with a four way traffic intersection. After that, traffic there got ridiculous.

Val123's avatar

Cutting down ancient trees ought to be illegal

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