Q&A - Why Shouldn't I Coast Through Stop Signs?

What is the purpose of completely coming to a stop at a 3 or 4 way stop when there are no vehicles or pedestrians near the intersection? A rolling stop should be sufficient, as MOST drivers including professional drivers never completely stop. There are at least 3 good reasons for NOT coming to a complete stop. I cannot think of one good reason for coming to a COMPLETE stop.



Well, strangely enough, that's what the law says you must do, and if you follow it you will never need to pay a $169 ticket and receive 3 penalty points.

Just because others do it, does that mean it is the right thing to do?

But seriously, drivers are creatures of habit. Coast through one and soon you are coasting through them all. Fail to look properly or fail to leave yourself enough time to look properly and disaster results. I can't tell you how many times a driver told me that "there was no one around!" when I was presenting a ticket for signature to them. If there was no one around, how did I get there?

You are required to

You are required to completely stop your vehicle so that you have time to take a careful look in all directions for other road users - cars, pedestrians, cyclists, you name it.  If you get in the habit of "rolling through" stop signs when it appears there is nobody around, one day you won't take a good enough look and there will be an accident.   Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles are often overlooked when taking just a quick glance before you "roll on through."

It's all in the details.

When two vehicles arrive at exactly the same time at an all way stop, it's only the vehicle that actually comes to a complete stop that gets the right of way.

Also, stopping fully might give you more time to realize that the stop sign you thought said 4-way actually said 3-way and that one direction doesn't have to stop!

Stop means stop!

Until there is a new sign that says Coast, which is sort of what a Yield sign means, stop means stop. When I learned to drive they suggested that a full stop meant to cease all movement, count to three, and proced when safe, however the cease all movement would seem to be the key to stopping. Ie: a pit stop in racing is measured by the amount of tme a car is not moving. When a girl asks you to stop touching her, it means to stop, not coast on through your minstrations. Stop means stop. This is a simple concept. 

Definition of a full stop

When I learned to drive, it was suggested that a full stop was when the vehicle ceased to move and you counted to three. The notion of full stop does at least suggest the ceasing of all motion. However, of late, most driver's seem to measure a stop in kilometers per hour, with precious few choosing zero as the number to reach. I have seen stops from 2 to 20 kmph. It may be time for stop sign cams because the only thing that generally brings about full stops are other vehicles imeding the progress of rolling stoppers.

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