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 Is a "rolling stop" really dangerous?

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David (forum admin)
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Join date : 2007-07-28

PostSubject: Is a "rolling stop" really dangerous?   Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:02 am

When we see "Decatur's finest" parked in Decatur Heights, it's most likely on Pinehurst, just at the crest of the hill, so they can observe for people running the stop sign at Sycamore and Pinehurst.

Those not familiar with this stretch of Sycamore sometimes don't see the Stop Sign and run it completely. This is obviously a serious matter. This writer lives near the intersection, and sometimes hears horns and/or screeching brakes. (As a precaution, this writer, when stopping at the intersection, observes if other approaching vehicles appear to be slowing down, and if not, let's them have the right of way.) The painted cross walks the City has promised should all but eliminate this. Painting STOP AHEAD signs on the road would also help.

If the intersection of Fairview and Sycamore (one block down) is made a four way stop (as the City of Decatur promised in the 7/23/07 DHNA meeting), we'll be hearing a lot more brake screeching and horn blowing fore a while as people learn to stop there.

(The residents would also like to see a four-way stop at Grove and Syamore (two blocks down from Pinehurst), but that may not be allowed due to the curve on Sycamore at that intersection.)

But let's consider rolling stops, AKA "California Stops." If there are no other cars approaching the intersection, and no pedestrians are anywhere in site, does this behavior really create any hazard? I think not, if the driver slows down to 5 MPH or less.

Presumably the concern is that, if low-speed rolling stops were allowed, people would gradually redefine a rolling stop at higher and higher speeds, until you could barely tell they slowed down for the intersection. But, a top speed limit (say 5 MPH) could be established. (The judge is going to take the officer's word for it, even if the driver says he wasn't going over 5 MPH.)

Why not change the law to only charge people who don't fully stop if other cars or pedestrians are approaching the intersection, or don't slow to under 5 MPH if there are no other cars?

Let's face it. Rolling stop tickets are just money makers for the City, and do nothing to increase safety.

On the other hand, from the standpoint of our objective of making Sycamore Drive less desirable as a through street for those who don't live here; forcing a full stop provides a worse aggravation. So, nevermind.
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