The rules of the road (Chapter 2) state that:
Stop signs are placed at those intersections where extra hazards exist, such as heavy traffic or limited visibility. When you approach a stop sign always follow these rules:
• start slowing down soon enough so that you can stop smoothly;
• in a city or town, stop your vehicle:
a) before entering a crosswalk; or
b) at a clearly marked stop line; or
c) at a point nearest the intersecting roadways where pedestrians would normally cross
Did you see it? Did you see that line that states that stop your vehicle? It is quite clear, there isn’t any chance of confusion. If you have a valid driving license, you should know the rules, and therefore you know this. You drive up to a stop sign and you do what the sign says, STOP! It isn’t difficult or hard to understand. Is it?
Sat in the Tim Horton‘s parking lot on the corner of First and Elm and within a five minute period, more than 75% of drivers didn’t stop. Some slowed down to nearly a stop. Some barely slowed at all. The main reason for slowing down seemed to be checking to see if there was traffic coming. There is a sign, a fairly large one. You can’t miss it, it says STOP and yet most drivers don’t.
Just up the road from this junction just happens to be Elgin Court Public School. Grades K to 8 attend. Some of the older students probably walk home, or to Timmy’s if they already have a coffee addiction. They use the intersection at First and Elm. A lot of them use the crossing with the stop sign that more than 3 quarters of drivers don’t obey.
According to the St. Thomas Police website ‘Any driver found disobeying the law and failing to bring their vehicle to a full stop at posted stop signs within the city will receive a $ 110.00 provincial offences ticket, and accumulate three demerit points. This could also affect your insurance rates.’.
Fail to stop five times equals fifteen demerit points and a thirty day suspension of the driving license.
Let us consider how much time it takes to actually bring your vechile to a complete stop and then move forward again. Five seconds? Ten seconds? Fifteen seconds at the most? So, if you cannot stop your vehicle for 75 seconds over the some ammount of time, you can lose your license. 75 seconds? that is all.
The bigger question is why are you so important that you do not have to obey the traffic law? Are you on a super secret mission to save the planet or in need of your next coffee fix? Can you really justify not stopping at a stop sign? You risk your license, other traffic and most importantly, children’s lives. Yes, I know that if there were children standing there you would slow down and stop. Wouldn’t you?
15 seconds. Think about it.