What are stop signs for? Part 3

Continued from Part 2 (note: I posted this part 3 early, and then had to delete it, my apologies)

stop-slashAs part of my job, I spend a lot of time at intersections observing the behavior of motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. What I observe is that about 20% of motor vehicle drivers come to a full legal stop at stop signs, when there are no other vehicles present that might cause a collision. What about bicyclists? Wait for it… About 20% of bicyclists come to a full legal stop at stop signs. Yet the perception of many motor vehicle drivers is that they are stopping and bicyclists are not. Motor vehicles drivers complain in letters to the editor, news shows, blog comments, and conversations about flagrant violations of the law by bicyclists, which they either say or imply should result in harsh enforcement, restrictions on where bicyclists may ride, and “licensing.” A few crazies even say that it is OK to run down a bicyclist who is violating the law. But the fact of the matter is that bicyclist and motor vehicle driver behaviors are nearly identical when it comes to stop signs.

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

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