I observe the world a l lot because I am an artist. One of my many jobs for the past 16 years has been chauffering kids around to school activities. It gets kind of boring so I study traffic behaviors. Two years now, many drivers have been sailing past stop signs.
I spend the majority of my time driving in Livingston, West Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Springfield, Union, Vaux Haul, Millburn, and Summit. I have noticed drivers ignoring stop signs in all of these towns, with the most offenders in Maplewood. This is baffling.
Has the stop sign lost its efficacy,is it's semantic no longer effective, has there been a cultural shift? In the 1970's no one wore a seat belt, and everyone took stop signs very seriously. Presently, everyone wears a seat belt and too many do not stop at stop signs.
I believe in stop signs because safety is elegant. Just before I got home to type this letter, three cars, ignoring two stop signs, sailed across the Maplewood/Jefferson avenue intersection. A driver coming down Jefferson (Jefferson side is not puncuated with stop signs at that intersection), and myself, stopped. The driver opposite me on Jefferson, patiently waited for all the "No stop at the stop signers" to finish going along, and then proceeded.
I wonder if anyone else has noticed this: "everyone has the right of way" epidemic? Am I just too boring playing it so safetly and obeying those silly stop signs? Are there too many trees and bushes in the way? Are car noses too long? Do engineers need to go back to school for some continuing education credits? I don't know what the answers are and I would love to hear any observations from other drivers (either perspective is welcome) out there. In the meantime, my apologies, to the cars, behind me in the know, but I will continue stopping at all stop signs. Please remember what the red octagonal sign with white letters stands for. It means well. Stay well.