Warren and other towns probably have too many stop signs. There's no proof that more signs save lives. Studies show that sometimes installing stop signs lowers accident rates, but in some cases more accidents occurred after signs were installed.
In this month's Atlantic, John Staddon argues that that America's omnipresent stop signs make us less safe. He writes, "Stop signs are costly to drivers and bad for the environment: Stop/start driving uses more gas, and vehicles pollute most when starting up from rest. ... [T]he overabundance of stop signs teaches drivers to be less observant of cross traffic and to exercise less judgment when driving -- instead, they look for signs. ...
"The four-way stop deserves special recognition as a masterpiece of counterproductive public-safety efforts. Where should the driver look?"
One Dutch town experimented by getting rid of most of its traffic signs. The result? Fewer accidents and fewer injuries.
Drivers look out for people instead of signs, and they negotiate their way through town.
Remember the stop sign in Warren, Mich., where Kanapsky wrote many of his tickets? It's been changed to a yield sign. One result: fewer accidents.
Police say, "[B]etween Jan. 16, 2008, and May 21, 2008, there have been no accidents reported. During that same time frame in 2007, there were four crashes reported." Good. Let's get rid of more signs.
And to all the cops who eagerly punish us for doing what they do, give me a break.
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