Nobody Stops

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Except for the thrill of witnessing a rolling army of scofflaws, reviewing this hour of video tape was really boring.  I was thankful to be nearly finished with my hour of observations.

The last car to stop was a motorcycle. Fifty-seven minutes into the hour, A motorcyclist stopped and put his foot down. This got a chuckle from me, because the "foot down" was taught to me as a way to describe what constituted a real, official stop.

Apparently my old drivers-ed teacher bought this motorcycle and brought it out to get onto my videotape.

Twenty-three more cars rolled through the intersection before my videotape ended. I tallied up the results:

Out of 276 cars though the intersection that hour, only 8 vehicles stopped fully. 97% of the cars had not stopped. Another 17 cars nearly stopped (stop-ish).


Other observations:

  1. Traditional style (open top) Jeeps did not stop, or nearly stop.
  2. Trucks did not stop.
  3. There were no accidents or near-accidents at the intersection.


The penalty for failure to stop, if you are caught, and given a citation in California is $351.  I consider that to be outrageous when so many people are rolling through stop signs. It would be even more outrageous if a traffic camera-robot was installed, distributing 251 $351 tickets per hour.

Why enforce a full stop when one isn't really needed?

Given this wide gap between what people are doing, and what the law demands of us, I think the law should be changed.

Instead of signs that require a stop, new signs and laws should be posted, requiring only a slow creep. In fact, after I finish posting this story, I'm going to replace the sign in front of our house with one that says "creep".  




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May 22nd, 2006 

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