Right of way right away?


Old 04-15-05, 06:57 AM
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Right of way right away?

My town has several instances of offset stop signs (for lack of a better term). That is, a situation where a main road has two opposing side streets that are not far from each other, but not right across from each other and they have stop signs on that main road but only on the side of the street where the side street is. Does that make sense?

Anyway, they annoy me in the first place because I feel it's obvious that their purpose is simply to control speed. I think that a speed problem should be addressed by enforcing the speed limit, and probably starting by putting up a realistic speed limit. But I digress.

My question is, when I come to this stop sign, with the side street on my right, and I make a complete stop, do I continue on driving straight with the standard right of way or do I need to remain stopped until all of the oncoming traffic has passed just in case some of them want to turn left?

Clearly, many of the oncoming drivers, very familiar with this intersection, feel they have the right to turn left in front of me because they signal unusually early and come careening down the road stuck to the previous guy's bumper and take the turn on two wheels. Ok, some exageration there.

My feeling is that I make my full stop and I can proceed and the rules of oncoming traffic having the right of way (to proceed straight) apply. I don't want this to sound like it's me vs. them here. Sometimes it's me coming the other way and turning left and I still feel that oncoming traffic (them) has the right of way.

Does anyone know what the law is on this? I've searched around and can't find it anywhere.
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Old 04-15-05, 07:39 AM
mattison's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
Posts: 5,549
I think that if you have the stop sign and they don't then they have the right of way. Reguardless if they are turning left or not.
Old 04-15-05, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Technically mattison is correct
My town also has this type of intersection
Altough the oncoming traffic (with no stop sign) is crossing over the right-of-way of the main road traffic, the main road traffic has a stop sign, which over-rules the right-of-way
It's a cheap "easy" fix for problem intersections
Of course the problem is usually that people don't know or don't care what "yield", "right-of-way", "complete stop" and "wait till traffic is clear" actually mean
Old 04-28-05, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
I can only think of one intersection around here like that. It seems like the road department went out of their way to make it confusing. Why not just make it a 3-way stop and be done with it? (Especially if, as you suggest, they are wanting it to control traffic speeds.)

Funny thing...When I was 15, our drivers ed teacher took us all to get our learners permits. As we returned to the school, we came to this intersection and the teacher ran the stop sign and went on through! He never said a word about it. I don't think he even realized he did it.

BTW: I am ABSOLUTELY with you on wishing they'd post REAL speed LIMITS and enforce them. Speed limits are interpreted as "minimum speed" around here. My idea would be to replace speed limit signs with speed range signs that would have a minimum and maximum speed. But now it's my turn to digress.

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