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Dear Editor

Stop: Roll-throughs as the new normal

Anecdotally, we all know that a “stop sign” does not really mean “stop” as so many of us roll-through them. Although there has been no new legislation to allow roll-throughs, it happens, it seems, a lot.

Curious as to how often, I did a little study on a corner in Owen Sound, of an avenue (with no stop sign) and a street with a two-way stop. Observations (using a tally sheet) covered just over 10-hours over the course of eight days. Most were day-time observations but some were at night..so dark out. Total observations included almost 200 vehicles (cars, trucks, delivery trucks) and thirty-two cyclists.

This mini-study observed only vehicles required to stop at the stop signs, both directions. For cyclists, all were noted, both travelling on the street and the avenue.

In short, 81% of vehicles rolled through, some quickly and some very slowly. Those making a right turn tended to roll-through quickly, while those going straight through, or making a left turn, were more cautious. Of those who did stop, it was mostly because other vehicles had the right-of-way on the avenue, although in several cases drivers stopped because, well, there was a stop sign. At least that is my assumption. In several situations, drivers driving on the avenue stopped at the corner

Delivery trucks and a city truck with trailer, for a total of five vehicles, rolled through.

Of cyclists, 41% failed to signal turns, rode on the wrong side of the street, and/or failed to stop as required. This occurred on the avenue and the street.

Doubt my findings?: Check it yourself.

We know this is dangerous driver behaviour, but I do need to note that in no cases was there an immediate and potential accident situation.....drivers were either very skilled at roll-throughs or very lucky. I suggest the latter.

David Clark, Independendent Researcher,

Owen Sound


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