Making a proper stop

It doesn’t take much to amuse a retired traffic cop. I was parked waiting for my wife and had about 15 minutes to watch traffic at aT intersection marked with a stop line, crosswalk and stop sign. Traffic on the city side street was steady as it was dusk and near the end of another business day. During the time I watched, not one driver came to a proper stop.

Most stopped with the front tires on the crosswalk line nearest to the intersection. The rest rolled slowly through without stopping at all.

I can understand wanting to stop in a position where you can see both ways on the cross street. After all, why stop twice when you can just slide up, have a look and go? The answer to that one is easy: pedestrians.

I also watched a father and daughter walk up to the intersection using the sidewalk. They both looked at the vehicle approaching the stop sign and the daughter either decided that the car was far enough back or trusted the driver to stop and began to cross. The father had a different idea. He put his arm out and stopped his daughter, letting the car stop on top of the crosswalk and proceed before they continued.

The pedestrians were engaged in the crosswalk and had the proper expectation that the driver would stop properly. The father correctly guessed that it would not happen and chose not to exercise their right-of-way. As the situation played out, this was obviously the wise thing to do.

The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit