Stop Signs Are Not Suggestions

When you see an octagonal, red sign with the word STOP written in big, white, bold letters standing tall on the side of the road, the correct behavior is:

a) Laugh and speed up
b) No cop, no stop
c) Slow down, look carefully to see if there are any people or pets and then speed through intersection
d) Tap the breaks once, slightly, then continue
e) What stop sign? Was that what that text was?
f) Actually come to a complete stop. Make sure it’s safe to go and then proceed.

Unhappily, the answer to that question might come to a surprise to a lot of people.

If the sample size by which I’m going is indicative of the population as a whole, most of them seem to believe the answer is anything from a) to e).

Yeah, I’m getting a bit touchy about the whole thing.

There’s a stop sign at the intersection of our cul de sac and the slightly less minor road that connects us to the outside world. The stop sign is at the top of a hill on the connecting road so there’s reduced visibility going both ways. That is, as you’re approaching the stop sign, you can’t see what’s happening on the other side.

And, yet, people just blow through that stop sign like it’s not even there.

There are at least 10 little dudes under the age of 10 living in a very narrow radius of that stop sign. These are kids without the normal ability to think their way out of a paper bag or notice a nuclear explosion going on if they’re busy doing something else. They’re kids.

But these deadly drivers just don’t care. It’s more important that they save the several SECONDS it would take them to actually stop at the sign than it is to worry about the safety of the people, kids and pets who actually live in the area.

It drives me absolutely bonkers when this happens.

Heck, last year while a group of six kids were waiting right next to the stop sign for their bus, I was out walking Buzz, the garbage disposal who walks like a dog, when a car pulled near the stop sign. It didn’t stop. So I stepped in front of the car, intending to force it to obey the law or hit me.

The jerk driving the car still didn’t slow down. He drove around me, rolled down his window and began loudly cursing at me for being in the way. It was only because I didn’t want to set an even worse example for the kids that I didn’t hurl the package of dog poop I had in my hand through his open window.

But it was close. Oh, so very close.

So here’s the big takeaway, dudes. Especially in a residential area, those stop signs are there for a reason. If you’re so late that the extra seconds you’ll gain by not stopping will actually matter, then you’re too late so you might as well slow down and get there safely.

STOP at the STOP signs, folks. Don’t be the driver who blazes through the sign and then hits another car or a person. You’re not that dude.

Don’t be stupid: Stop at the sign.

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