A Cemstone Companies Safety Edition
STOP. LOOK. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
As you head out to hit the road, remember, there are some simple rules of the road to remember to ensure you arrive to your destination safely. Listed below is valuable information about stop signs and how to approach intersections safely. Adhering to traffic rules and being cautious at stop signs is crucial for ensuring road safety and preventing accidents. Please remember that traffic rules and regulations may vary depending on your region. It is essential to be familiar with the specific laws and guidelines in your area. DRIVE SAFELY!
ANTICIPATE THE NEED TO STOP
Sometimes, you will see a stop sign clearly in the distance as you approach it whilst other times there might be fog or overgrown habitat making it harder to see. In cases such as on hills or around blind curves, you may not be able to see a stop sign until you are closer to it. In some of these cases, you will see a separate sign warning you ahead of time that a stop sign is approaching. Whatever the situation, be prepared to slow down as soon as you see a stop sign.
ALLOW ADEQUATE TIME AND DISTANCE TO STOP
The exact amount of time or distance you need to stop will depend upon a number of factors, including your speed, the weather, and the physical condition of the road. However, you should start slowing down at least 150 feet before the stop sign. If you are traveling at high speeds, if the weather conditions are poor, or if the road conditions are dangerous (for instance, if the stop sign is at the bottom of a very steep hill), then you will need to allow more time and distance to slow down.
- If you stay within the speed limit enforced on a given road, you should generally have adequate time to slow down and halt at a stop sign, whether or not you see it long ahead of time.
COME TO A COMPLETE STOP
When you come upon a stop sign, come to a complete stop so that your vehicle has no momentum. Do not simply slow down or pause.
- Try to come smoothly to a stop rather than slamming on the brakes.
- If there is a solid white bar or a crosswalk painted across the intersection, you should stop before it, so that you don’t block it.
- If there is no painted stopping line, then stop slightly before the stop sign so that you can see in all directions at the intersection.
- If you cannot see clearly around the intersection, slowly pull forward slightly until you can see, and come to a complete stop again.
RECOGNIZE THE KIND OF INTERSECTION
Stop signs may be used at several kinds of intersections, and different traffic rules are enforced at each. It is important to know which kind of stop you are approaching so that you know which rules to follow.
- A two-way stop is used when two roads intersect, but traffic on only one road is required to stop at the intersection.
- A four-way or all-way stop is used when two roads intersect, and traffic moving in all directions must stop at the intersection.
- A T-junction is formed when one road dead-ends in another perpendicular to it (forming a shape that resembles the letter “T”). T-junctions may have a three-way stop, in which traffic moving in all directions must stop at the intersection, or they may have only a stop sign for the traffic moving toward the intersection from the road that dead ends.
- Many stop signs will have a smaller sign below the red octagon indicating if the stop is a four-way, three-way, etc.
LOOK BOTH WAYS FOR TRAFFIC
Even after you stop, you are required to let any traffic moving across your path go by first. If there is no traffic, you are free to proceed through the intersection (or turn) after coming to a complete stop. If traffic is visible but at a distance far enough away that it will not reach the intersection before you cross it, you may proceed. However, you must always move across an intersection at a reasonable speed, and avoid trying to cross when traffic is dangerously close to the intersection.
- Only cross the intersection if any traffic is a safe distance away. The exact distance will depend on the speed of the oncoming traffic and other concerns, so always use good judgment and play it safe.
- Remember that traffic on the road may include bicyclists, motorcycles, and other vehicles, in addition to automobiles.
WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS
If there are pedestrians moving across the intersection (people walking, strolling, bicycling, skating, etc.), you are required to let them go by before crossing it yourself. This is true even if there is no other motor vehicle traffic at the intersection. Unless laws in your area specifically state otherwise, you should let pedestrians cross an intersection first even if there is no visible crosswalk.
ALWAYS STOP for pedestrians, whether or not a regular stop sign is visible. You should stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of a block rather than at an intersection of two or more roads. In some cases you may see a STOP sign, a small STOP sign icon, or a phrase such as “STOP for Pedestrians.” Whether or not you see such a sign, however, you should come to a complete stop to let pedestrians cross at a crosswalk.
OBEYING RULES OF SPECIAL SITUATIONS
OBEY RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR A FOUR-WAY OR THREE-WAY STOP.
When you come to a four-way or three-way stop, the right-of-way rules are slightly different. Drivers should proceed through the intersection in the order in which they arrive at the stop (regardless of which direction they are moving in), making sure to yield to any pedestrians first. If two cars come to the intersection at the same time, The car to the right has the right of way.
ALWAYS STOP AT SCHOOL BUS STOP SIGN.
School buses have stop signs that pop up when the buses are stopped to let schoolchildren on or off. When you see a bus stopped with its stop sign(s) displayed, come to a complete stop at a safe distance from the bus (15 feet away is recommended). Remain stopped until all children have boarded or exited the bus. Even after the stop sign is put away and the bus moves on, double-check to make sure there are no children in or next to the road. Proceed only when your path is completely clear.
DON’T CROSS AN INTERSECTION IF TRAFFIC IS BACKED UP.
If you come to a stop sign at an intersection, and traffic on the other side of the street headed in your direction is not moving, do not cross the intersection. Wait until traffic clears on the other side and it is safe to proceed through. If you attempt to cross an intersection when traffic is backed up, you may end up blocking the intersection and increasing the chance of an accident or delay.
ALWAYS YIELD TO EMERGENCY VEHICLES.
If you are at a stop sign at an intersection and it would otherwise be your “turn,” wait if you see or hear an emergency vehicle (ambulance, fire truck, police car, etc.) coming. Let the emergency vehicle go by first before proceeding through the intersection.
OBEY A POLICE OFFICER DIRECTING TRAFFIC.
If there is a police officer or other official at an intersection directing traffic, you should obey that person’s orders. Follow the official’s signal for when it is your turn to proceed through the intersection, regardless of what normal rules dictate
REQUEST A STOP SIGN IF YOU THINK ONE IS NEEDED.
If you think a stop sign is necessary at a certain intersection, contact your local transportation board, road commission, town council, etc. about your suggestion. However, you must make a good case for why the sign is needed, and understand that:
- Stop signs are not really used to control speed. In fact, studies have show that many drivers tend to increase their speed between stop signs.
- Too many stop signs can also increase pollution and cause traffic congestion.
- The decision about whether or not to erect a stop sign is usually governed by several factors, such as the number of crashes that have occurred at the intersection, traffic flow and volume, and visibility at the intersection.