Tag Archives: all-way

Concerning all-way stops and rolling right turns

The in basket: Alison Loris says in an e-mail, “I have noticed that many drivers do not bother to come to a stop at a four-way-stop sign or traffic light if they are making a right turn, not even a “California stop.”  The intersection of Perry and Sylvan in East Bremerton is just about the worst I’ve seen, but it happens elsewhere too.  Some drivers don’t even appear to glance at the other cars at the intersection.  Surely this is illegal as well as dangerous! The practice of ignoring the four-way stop is irritating to drivers who do wait their turn.”

The out basket: Yes, it’s illegal, but a common practice, and hardly new. Drivers have been doing it as long as I can remember.

The red light cameras being deployed in Bremerton and elsewhere serve their supposed function almost exclusively in the deterrence of that infraction. Most camera-based citations are for rolling right turns.

And they are dangerous, to pedestrians who are trying to cross at the intersection.

It also is quite understandable at Perry and Sylvan, for drivers turning from westbound Sylvan onto northbound Perry. It’s an uphill grade and getting restarted  from a full stop on Sylvan regularly involves some spinning of the tires in the sand on the road. Keeping up one’s momentum in that turn is an attractive tactic.

Highway 308 signal having trouble

The out basket: Mike McDermott of Poulsbo writes that at least twice in the first week of September, “the traffic signal at Central Valley Road and Highway 308 (the road to Keyport) was flashing red instead of their usual red/green/yellow sequence. 

“This intersection is usually busy, even on weekends without the Navy traffic to Keyport,” Mike said. “At first, I thought it must be a glitch, but if this was done on purpose i want to know.

“This is a potentially dangerous intersection,” he said. “Because of the hills and curves that approach it, visibility of approaching traffic from the other directions is limited.”

At 11 a.m. one Sunday, he said, “when I approached the intersection, cars in three directions were just sitting there. No one was moving because no one could figure out who got there first.”

He wondered who he could call to find out what is happening with the light.

The out basket: Don Anders of the Olympic Region signal shop for state highways says, “We are having problems in this signal cabinet and our crew has been working with it to solve the problem.” They go to all-way flashing red when the problem arises or they are working on it. 

“This cabinet is over 20 years old and may have to be replaced,” Don said, “but a new unit is $25,000 and we are trying to fix the problem before we (have to) replace it.  As we all know funding is very tight for the state and we are working hard to do the right thing.”

People like Mike with a concern about a signal on a state highway in the region can call him at  (360) 357-2616, Don said.

The rules at all-way stops apply when all four directions have a flashing red. The topography Mike describes at 308 and Central Valley is difficult, but all drivers stopped at the light can easily see one another. If they are too timid to sort it out among themselves with eye contact, a wave of the hand and/or a cautious start by one of the cars, all drivers must yield to a car on their right. With only three cars stopped in the situation Mike describes, one of them will have no one to the right and should start first.