Monday, April 10, 2017

There are too many 'stop' signs in America

Coming from Europe, where drivers are generally much better trained than they are in America, we're sort of used to looking out for other vehicles, and giving priority where it's due (although I still don't like Priorite A Droit - that makes no sense if you're on a main road).
But here in America, we're plagued with 'stop' signs everywhere. In my neighborhood they even put in a roundabout then put 4-way stop signs on it. That destroys the entire concept of a roundabout (better traffic flow, less waiting).
My problem with 'stop' signs is that it increases wear and tear on vehicles, it reduces gas-mileage, and the signs themselves are placed with so little logic that they're easy to miss. Many of the streets where I live have vast long stretches with no 'stop' signs, then at one intersection - for no apparent reason - there is a 4-way stop. These intersections look no different from any of the dozen or more leading up to them - it's like the city just decided "here's a good place to mess with people".
My other problem with 'stop' signs is that we're expected to come to a complete stop at every one, every time. Even on a deserted road in the middle of the night. To be honest, I've given up with those situations. If it's patently obvious that there's no other traffic around, I just go straight through them now. And I don't feel bad about it because I'm exercising due care and attention because I'm watching the side roads as I approach to see if there are any vehicles, bikes or pedestrians. If not, then there's literally no reason at all why I should stop other than the arbitrary 'stop' sign placed there by a city that doesn't understand how traffic flows.
This has become so out-of-control here in America that we have 'stop' signs in the most idiotic places now. The picture below shows a street near where I work. That's a corner there. Nothing more than a bend in the road. I've circled the 'stop' sign. You'll notice there's only one. This makes absolutely no sense. Nobody observes this sign any more because there's zero point in it being there.
Now I can already feel people getting on their high horse about breaking the law, but let's be honest - show me someone who says they've never broken a traffic law and I'll show you a liar. You / we all do it whether you want to admit it or not. Whether it's rolling through a 'stop' sign, jumping a yellow light, going faster than the speed limit, not using your indicators, not using your fog lights appropriately - literally EVERYONE breaks traffic laws.

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