The ‘how’ of stopping at a stop sign

The in basket: George Bolton says the intersection of Enchantment Lane and Dickey Road west of Silverdale is difficult because of reduced visibility for those stopped on Enchantment.

“When you pull up to the stop sign here, you can’t see up Dickey Road at Enchantment. Three years ago, someone put in a sewer or water line and added more dirt to the berm.

“Does state law require a line of sight when you’re stopped behind the stop  sign?” he asked.

The out basket: It’s not hard to see up and down Dickey from Enchantment unless you are overly worried about stopping only once, at the stop sign. There are a lot of places like it where one has to move forward past the stop sign to get a good view.

Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department called it a common question and cited a state law.

It says that unless a police officer, firefighter or flagger directs otherwise, “every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.” It goes on to require that entering the other street must then be done safely.

The state driver’s manual says, “Make sure you can clearly see crossing traffic before entering an intersection. If you were stopped and your view of a cross street is blocked, edge forward slowly until you can see. By moving forward slowly, crossing drivers can see the front of your vehicle before you can see them. This gives them a chance to slow down and warn you if needed.”

Finally, Scott offers some common sense advice in a Q&A format.

Q1. How far from the stop sign should I stop?

A1.  There should be a white line painted across the road. You have to come to a complete stop before you cross that line. Once you have come to a complete stop, you may inch forward a little bit in order to see whether or not it is safe for you to proceed.

Q2.  If there is a distance between stop sign and stop line, should I stop before the stop sign or the stop line?

A2.  Before the stop line. If needed, you can slowly pull up a little and then stop again when you have a good view of traffic in all directions.

Q3.  How close should you get to the stop sign before stopping completely?

A3.  If there is a crosswalk at the intersection, you should stop before crossing it. If there is no crosswalk, stop short of the intersection with enough space that other cars can safely turn in without hitting you.

Q4.  Where do you stop if the stop sign is before the white line?

A4.  Stop before the white line. You should stop within two feet of it, so the bumper does not go over the line.

6 thoughts on “The ‘how’ of stopping at a stop sign

  1. Ref Q3 – The newly re-done intersection of Old Military & McWilliams. The cross walk going across Old Military is well before traffic on Old Military can see the crossing traffic on McWilliams.

    How does one legally navigate this awesomeness of traffic engineering?

  2. Doesn’t the entire column answer that question? Creep forward until you can see the cross-traffic and it can see you.
    Road Warrior

    1. Right… You’d be parked over the cross walk while waiting for a opportunity to make your turn. Mean while a pedestrian could be waiting to cross the road… Certainly you realize that people do walk along this road all day/night long, recently people have been struck by vehicles here…

      On top of how overly friendly and understanding people have become, your likely to have the pedestrian do something to your vehicle because you blocking the crosswalk.

  3. Creep forward on some roads here and you’ll be lucky if your front end isn’t smashed in a collision. Sometimes the only time you can clearly see if any traffic is coming is when you’re already halfway out into the lane, thanks to the bushes and signs all over the place.

    For what it’s worth, I thought this was going to be a snarky column on how people need to learn to stop at a stop sign, period. Every day I watch the traffic running the downtown Bremerton stop signs after leaving the ferry. Why don’t the cops go out and start ticketing these people? They’d make a surplus revenue for the city in no time flat.

  4. Just another reason why I believe that everytime a driver goes in to renew their license, they should have to take a refresher test, just to make sure they can remember all the rules of the road.

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