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  #1  
Old 21 March 2007, 07:47 AM
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Police Four-way stop

http://www.parade.com/articles/editi...07/Ask_Marilyn

Quote:
Q: Say that four cars arrive simultaneously at a four-way stop. Who goes first?

A: No rule applies. The drivers must choose among themselves and communicate as best they can. But after the first driver proceeds, each driver then must yield to the driver on the right, which means they should proceed in a clockwise fashion.
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  #2  
Old 21 March 2007, 07:50 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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We have them in Sweden as well. We also have four-way yields. Basically, the rule is "work it out amongst the drivers". It works surprisingly well on the road, not so well in the court trying to figure out who caused an accident.
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  #3  
Old 21 March 2007, 08:57 AM
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Police

Same thing here in Finland. Many of us are just too shy to make the first move - everybody's waiting for someone else to go first...
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  #4  
Old 21 March 2007, 11:31 AM
STF STF is offline
 
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We have the opposite problem in Georgia. Most of the people follow the procedure and one pulls up and decides it's their turn to go. My wife dealt with one of those yesterday.
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  #5  
Old 21 March 2007, 12:53 PM
Unklesam
 
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Same thing here in Philly. No matter when people pull up, the other drivers always believe they are next to go. Always. My favorite is the dirty look they give you when you dare to pull out when it is your turn. And they were trying to go. Because they had ust pulled up and had to wait for one whole car to go. Regardless of the fact you were sitting there waiting through 2 other cars for your rightful turn. Can you tell it pisses me off?
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  #6  
Old 21 March 2007, 01:11 PM
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It was strange, but I grew up near one in Concord, MA on a very busy road by Concord's standards. People were horrible about letting others go while there were only stop signs, but string up one blinking red four-way red traffic light and bam! everyone was suddenly as polite and giving as could be. I guess electronics just make us jump into line.
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  #7  
Old 21 March 2007, 01:17 PM
Paulie Jay
 
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Four way stops are pretty rare over here - we tend to use roundabouts and they seem to get the job done.
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  #8  
Old 21 March 2007, 01:26 PM
Nappy Solo Nappy Solo is offline
 
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Several years ago, my SO got a traffic ticket for a minor offense. In our State, you can choose to attend a one day class, and not get any points taken off your license to dispose of the ticket. That replaces the fine, etc. In this class, the instructor, who is a member of the Nebraska State Patrol told them that in a four way stop sign, if two cars are not facing each other, the one on the right has the right of way, and should go first. (I hope I described that OK) That was news to me, I always went with the old "who got their first goes first".

I think a lot of people think that is also true when you get to an arterial with a stop sign on each side. Let's say that I get to a stop sign, and I'm going to go straight and not turn. But someone else pulls up to the stop sign across the road from me, just a second before me. They put the turn signal on, and make a left turn in front of me, when I think they should wait to see what I'm going to do. Many times I've had people really cut it close, and make a token quick stop to try and make it look like they stopped before me to make this turn. I never argue, and let them go first, but it just doesn't make sense to try it to me.
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  #9  
Old 21 March 2007, 01:39 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nappy Solo View Post
...in a four way stop sign, if two cars are not facing each other, the one on the right has the right of way, and should go first. (I hope I described that OK) That was news to me, I always went with the old "who got their first goes first".
You were both correct. The yield to the person on the right thing is for two cars that arrive at the intersection simultaneously.*

Quote:
Let's say that I get to a stop sign, and I'm going to go straight and not turn. But someone else pulls up to the stop sign across the road from me, just a second before me. They put the turn signal on, and make a left turn in front of me, when I think they should wait to see what I'm going to do. Many times I've had people really cut it close, and make a token quick stop to try and make it look like they stopped before me to make this turn.
As above, first person there gets to go first, even when making a turn (assuming both have a stop sign.) If they arrive simultaneously* then the non-turner gets to go first.

*You bring up the problem of defining simultaneous arrival. In real-life, of course, there are no photo finishes, so it needs to be approximate. I think sometimes there are problems because, as you say, someone will tap their brake for a split-second and say "I was here first, " while others use a bit more approximation. You have to use your judgement I guess. Personally, I have no set rule but thinking about it, if it is so close- I complete my stop while teh other car is in the process of stopping- I consider it simultaneous.
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  #10  
Old 21 March 2007, 01:45 PM
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Around here it seems like nobody really knows what to do at four way stops where there are several cars arriving near the same time. When I see a situation like this, I just make it easier on the other drivers and go through right away.
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  #11  
Old 21 March 2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulie Jay View Post
Four way stops are pretty rare over here - we tend to use roundabouts and they seem to get the job done.
There are none in the UK either - we have roundabouts or traffic lights, or one road through the junction has a clear right-of-way (usually the busier)*.

I guess these are mostly used where there isn't a lot of traffic? It seems like asking for trouble to make people work to rules as ambiguous as this in heavy traffic.

(edit) *There is one confusing crossroads near my parents, but that's because they changed the right-of-way a few years ago when a new housing estate was built, so the direction that used to have right-of-way now has to stop and give way. It's not confusing unless you know how it used to be and forget it's changed.
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  #12  
Old 21 March 2007, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
We have them in Sweden as well.
But how common are they? I can only remember having seen one (on the other hand I don't drive, so they might be more common than I'm aware of). I also once lived in a town that sported two pseudo-roundabouts. They looked exactly like roundabouts but vehicles coming from the right, entering them, had right-of-way.

Which reminds me: Are you familiar with the magic roundabout at Swindon?
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  #13  
Old 21 March 2007, 03:46 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
But how common are they? I can only remember having seen one (on the other hand I don't drive, so they might be more common than I'm aware of). I also once lived in a town that sported two pseudo-roundabouts. They looked exactly like roundabouts but vehicles coming from the right, entering them, had right-of-way.
They are not very common, as they have more or less just left the experimental stage. I've picked up some info on it since I work with traffic regulation management software.

They are not the same as the tiny roundabouts that are just painted on the ground. In the roundabouts, you yield as normal in a roundabout, while the four-way yield/stops have no rules about who yields to whom. It is just assumed that everybody stops and then the situation resolves itself, which it usually does, and if it doesn't, nobody is travelling fast so any damage is minor.

Quote:
Which reminds me: Are you familiar with the magic roundabout at Swindon?
I've read about it and seen pictures of it. It's not as bad as it looks, as there are two things that makes it harder to decipher in most pictures:

1. They drive on the wrong side of the road. Mirror the image and it becomes more familiar.

2. Try to imagine sitting in a car, not looking down from above. When you drive, you look ahead and only have a few choices and you don't have to be confronted with the entire whirlpool of cars at once.
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  #14  
Old 21 March 2007, 04:11 PM
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The most beat up car goes first.
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  #15  
Old 21 March 2007, 04:20 PM
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4-way stops are common in Colorado. I have my own personal easy fix for a 4-way tie: there really is no such thing as a true "tie." In my mind, if someone gets there a millisecond sooner, they get the right of way.

We also have quite a few roundabouts in Douglas County, but people are more confused about how they work, so they end up being more dangerous because they're new enough and uncommon enough for them to be enigmatic. People will go the wrong way on them, or cut you off as they enter them, or even drive on the gently sloping "shore" of the "island" in the middle because they think it's another lane.
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  #16  
Old 21 March 2007, 04:38 PM
Nappy Solo Nappy Solo is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Illusion View Post
4-way stops are common in Colorado. I have my own personal easy fix for a 4-way tie: there really is no such thing as a true "tie." In my mind, if someone gets there a millisecond sooner, they get the right of way.
Couldn't agree more. I'm never in that big of a hurry, and don't want to take any chances that someone in the other car has "divine rights to the intersection"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Illusion View Post
We also have quite a few roundabouts in Douglas County, but people are more confused about how they work, so they end up being more dangerous because they're new enough and uncommon enough for them to be enigmatic. People will go the wrong way on them, or cut you off as they enter them, or even drive on the gently sloping "shore" of the "island" in the middle because they think it's another lane.
We've had our first roundabouts go in here, and some people have really struggled with it. I don't see the problem, I think some just make it harder than it should be. I see them as a big improvement on a couple of the intersections.
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  #17  
Old 21 March 2007, 06:04 PM
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The 2007 Georgia Driver's manual says
Quote:
At a four-way
stop intersection, when more than one driver reaches it at approximately the same time, the first one to stop should be the first to go, if safe to do so. Others should take their turns. There are three other things to remember:
a. Don’t delay traffic behind you–
take your turn when it comes.
b. If another driver tries to take your turn, let the driver proceed. It might prevent an accident.
c. Care, courtesy and common sense should govern your actions.
This sometimes leads to one driver performing the stomp and stomp maneuver, where s/he stomps on the brake (often before the driver actually reaches the stop sign), then stomps on the gas.
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  #18  
Old 22 March 2007, 01:38 AM
Zamboni_Rodeo
 
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The way it seems to work in my neck of the woods is, if you're turning right, you get to go first. If you're going straight, you go after the people turning right. People who want to turn left have to yield to everyone else. This isn't how it is in the statutes; it's just how it works.
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  #19  
Old 22 March 2007, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulie Jay View Post
Four way stops are pretty rare over here - we tend to use roundabouts and they seem to get the job done.
Although you do sometimes get the situation where everyone arrives at the roundabout at the same time (more common with three exit islands). Normally everyone sits there for a minute and then you go.

Quote:
Which reminds me: Are you familiar with the magic roundabout at Swindon?
Troberg's correct, it's not as bad as it looks. There's a similar one in Hemel Hempstead. If you just concentrate on the upcoming set of minis there isn't a problem.

Last edited by Dactyl; 22 March 2007 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Fix quote tags
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  #20  
Old 22 March 2007, 12:37 PM
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They've started introducing roundabouts in some of the suburbs around here. People are a having a bit of trouble adapting, to put it mildly. There was an article in the local metro paper a couple of weeks ago about a spate of accidents at the newest one.

Part of the problem is one I see at other intersections, too: people don't understand the difference between yield and stop. At least one of the accidents at the new roundabout occurred partly because a car came to a complete stop at the roundabout even though there was no traffic coming. Combine that with the usual tendancy of motorists around here to tailgate, and you get crashes.
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