Tuesday 11 September 2018



The law for stop signs must be one of the easiest to understand – you need to come to a sure and complete stop.  However, it’s not uncommon to see drivers breaking this important rule.  Drivers should treat all stop signs as red lights, meaning if you would not consider driving through a red light then why would you proceed through a stop sign without stopping?  What’s more how do so many people make the mistake of not stopping correctly?

The car is basically made up of a body riding upon a chassis, which comprises of wheels, axles and suspension.  When braking, the body actually moves forward of the chassis, so
when coming to a stop you may mistakenly feel as though the vehicle has stopped even though the wheels are still moving albeit slowly.  To overcome this, ease some of the brake pressure before stopping to allow the body to sit above the chassis properly, and then apply enough brake pressure to bring the car to a smooth stop.

There are a lot of urban myths in terms of how long you need to stop before proceeding past the stop sign, for example ‘stop for three seconds’.  The fact is drivers merely have to stop their vehicle as near as practicable to the stop line or where there is no sign, the intersection, before proceeding past. 

Admittedly, it may be difficult sometimes to identify if you have completely stopped, so follow this simple tip.  To make sure, press on the brake a little harder after you believe you are at a complete stop.

To practice this technique in an automatic vehicle, you will need to stop the vehicle.  And when you believe the vehicle is at a complete stop, apply firmer pressure on the brake. If at that moment, the vehicle jolts to a stop, you are not stopping correctly.  Further practice the technique to make sure that you are coming to a complete stop. 

In a manual vehicle, you will usually be approaching the stop sign in 2ndgear.  Stop the vehicle first, and then change into 1stgear.  While changing from 2ndto 1stgear, press slightly harder on the brake to make sure the vehicle has come to a complete stop.  Once again, if the vehicle jolts to a stop at that moment, practice the technique further to ensure that you are always coming to a stop.

The law in relation to stop signs - Queensland Road Rules—Section 68(2) -states that you must stop your vehicle as near as practicable to the white stop line, but before reaching it, or where there is no line, the intersection. If you drive past the white line or into the intersection without stopping first, you have committed an offence.  If caught, you will be fined $391 and accrue 3 demerit points.  In a driving test, it is a critical driving error and you’ll get an instant unsuccessful result.

It’s worth noting that in the Q-Safe driving test, stopping at the stop line means stopping within 1m of the stop line, however the examiner may allow some discretion based on traffic conditions. So, if you have stopped behind another vehicle already stopped at the stop sign, once that vehicle in front moves past the stop sign, you are then required to move forward and stop as near as practicable to the stop line before proceeding through.  

Finally, a joke taken from the internet to give some importance to the stop sign.  A police officer stops a man for running a stop sign. The man protests and claims that he did stop at the stop sign. The police officer explained to the gentleman that he didn't stop, he just slowed down a little. The gentleman said 'Stop or slow down, what's the difference?'. The officer then pulled the guy out of the car and began beating him with his baton – the man pleads for the officer to stop. The officer then said, 'Would you like for me to stop or just slow down?'


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