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Old 11-08-2012, 09:40   #1
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STOP Sign Question

Let's say I'm coming up to a Stop sign and the person in front of me goes past the painted stop line and stops. I also stop, but I stop at the line. The person in front of me proceeds and I (having checked for traffic, etc) also pull out at almost the same time. It appears to an onlooker that we both stopped and proceeded at the same time.

Did I run the stop sign?

In my non-LEO opinion, I believe I did the stop legally and the person in front of me failed to stop properly since he/she stopped past the line. I think most Georgia drivers either don't know what that white line means or they just ignore it.

BTW, I wasn't pulled over for this, but this scenario does happen to me on occasion. Probably a 'cut and dry' answer, but what say you guys?

On a side note, I love it when a driver doesn't get a Turn Arrow at a traffic light because they stopped past the white line and beyond the traffic sensors.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:04   #2
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Well...of course I will qualify my answer with the caveat of each violation is based on the totality of the circumstances ie case by case basis.

A stop being defined as "a total cessation of movement".

I am sure that pretty much all states have the same law regarding a proper stop being one that is completed at or before the stop line or crosswalk (if there is one as you gave as the case in this situation). I would say that as long as you came to a "stop" and made sure no traffic was coming before completing a turn, then yes. You did complete a legal stop. The other person would have made an "illegal" stop, should you go by the letter of the law.

With that being said, I am not one who is really a nazi when it comes to letter of the law stops. As long as a driver does come to a stop at the sign and is not blocking the crosswalk if pedestrians are present, I am usually good with it. The only time I really ever issue fail/improper stop citations are when somebody rolls the stop sign, stops blocking the crosswalk while pedestrians are present, or if they stop 1/2 way out in the intersection, only after seeing my squad.

I would agree with you though, most folks have no concept of what the stop line if for. Trust me, its not just in your area.
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Last edited by x_out86; 11-08-2012 at 10:07..
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:33   #3
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It would depend on where I was at, and how long I had been there, as to whether I viewed it as illegal.

If I am just rolling by and all I see is both of you pull out, it might look like you roller the stop.

Are there pedestrians in the area or other cars coming to where it looks like your perceived actions would cause an accident?

There is more to it then just the basic question, but I would say to move up a little and then stop again.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:43   #4
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intersting question. I guess I never comtemplated this. I'm a stop sign "nazi" for myself - I never want to get dinged for that.

I get so freaking mad each day at the bozo's who either roll their way, or fly through, stop signs on my way to work each day. It's like, just because I came to a stop does not mean you can just slow down a bit then go through the four way - I was there first ya know.

Anywhoo...our lovely town is great at planting high growing "things" in the little islands at the ends of some streets. When you stop at the stop line you can't see a damn thing. So I stop. Then roll slowly so as not to get the front end of my car removed.

Why they feel the need to inhibit visibility is beyond me.

But to the original OP, I would think that YOU made a legal stop. I'd only be pissed if I was another car next to go at a 4-way stop and two cars went through. ;-) I still believe in taking turns even if the guy in front stopped forward of the line.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:48   #5
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Most states have laws that are "Failure to yield at intersection" or similar wording. You should wait until the intersection in clear before proceeding through after your complete stop.

If you roll through with the guy in front of you, even though he stopped past the line, the vehicle that is waiting to the left or right of you may believe it is their turn to enter. So you entering immediately after would cause an accident.

Here is the stop sign section for your state:

(b) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:16   #6
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What I do, and what I suggest others do to avoid confusion, is two seconds. Stop at the line, and count to yourself, "One thousand one, one thousand two" before proceeding. It's obvious to anyone around you that you stopped, and allows the 'tard who stopped past the stop bar to clear the intersection before you proceed. Anyone watching will have no question that you stopped appropriately. This also gives you plenty of time to see pedestrians and cross traffic.

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Old 11-08-2012, 14:21   #7
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The stops with white borders are 'stoptional' so its a moot issue

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Old 11-08-2012, 17:28   #8
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You did not run the sign, cut and dry. Main thing is, you can't enter the intersection unless it can be done safely. If right of way is at issue, other factors may come into play.
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Old 11-08-2012, 18:43   #9
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MN applicable statutes (which reflect the above).


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Old 11-08-2012, 18:56   #10
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In my scenario there are no crosswalks or other traffic. I was trying to keep it simple without a bunch of "what ifs."
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Old 11-08-2012, 19:04   #11
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Originally Posted by Thumpernator View Post
In my scenario there are no crosswalks or other traffic. I was trying to keep it simple without a bunch of "what ifs."
You said you stopped at the white line according to the law and I assume you entered into and through the intersection with safety. I see no other issue other than possible right of way issues.
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Old 11-09-2012, 00:04   #12
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Originally Posted by Thumpernator View Post
In my scenario there are no crosswalks or other traffic. I was trying to keep it simple without a bunch of "what ifs."
Yep, you obeyed the stop sign/line/crosswalk the way you described. And I've had the same exact experience too. So legally you're probably fine.


you'd need to check your state statute on entering an occupied intersection. It would be occupied by the vehicle that proceeded in front of you for at least a few seconds, and you might be violating some letter of the law by moving yourself too soon.

It's always something. There's a whole 'lotta gray area in those law books, not just black and white.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:43   #13
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I do the same thing, its one of my pet peeves. People totally blow through the crosswalk, and if they do actually stop, its too late at that point anyway.

If you think it's just a picky technical difference, you've never walked through a crosswalk in a "Right turn on red" state and had to peek around the stopped cars in the other lanes to make sure a right turner isn't about to drill you going through the crosswalk at 30mph and about to slow down before going completely through the intersection too.

I've been rear ended a couple of times because I stop before the crosswalk. I've often wondered about this too, as usually the guy in front of me rolls through the crosswalk completely before stopping, and I stop at the crosswalk. If pulled over I was always going to point out that I stopped, before the crosswalk, its the guy ahead of me that didn't stop in time. I did not bother to stop twice simply because the guy in front of me didn't stop in time, but then again, I'm not required to stop twice (unless there's traffic coming, and I have to get past the crosswalk to see oncoming traffic)...

I guess that might actually work after all!

I also do a very quick stop if there's no traffic, but I put a nice hard finishing touch on it so there's obvious dip forward, then a bounce back onto the rear wheels to make it obvious there was an actual stop in there, even if its only a few thousandths of a second in duration...

Not sure if there is a time requirement for the stop, or only a definite stop in MI. But if you blink, you might miss it...


Last edited by steveksux; 11-10-2012 at 06:47..
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