Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stop! Hey, What's That Sound? Everybody Look, What's Goin' Down?

Since when did stopping at a stop sign become a suggestion?


And I'm not talking a rolling stop. Or a California roll, or whatever you want to call it. I myself am guilty of those kinds of stops. No, I'm talking about a not-stop. A non-stop. A "those-red-lights-on-the-back-of-my-vehicle-lit-up-so-it-counts" stop.

But the thing is, just because your brake lights get their 
shine on doesn't mean you actually stopped. Or even came close, really.

Because that's not a stop. That's the same brake-light action you'd have on ANY 90 degree turn. And when that happens you're not always stopping, are you?
 (That's a rhetorical question.)
So again, my original question -- When did a stop sign stop meaning "STOP." and start meaning "Maybe slow down. If you feel like it. Or if you see a car coming. But maybe not even then."?

People who say they always stop if they see another car coming just sound egotistical and presumptuous to me. Would they CALL it an accident if Biffy pulled out in front of Jim-Bob even though he saw Jim-Bob coming? 

NO. 

They would call that:
  1. Stupid
  2. Suicidal
  3. Illegal -- (Attempted?) Vehicular Manslaughter.
Stop signs are there so that everyone stops. It's kind of the law. And as annoying as it may seem, it doesn't slow things down that much and no matter how convenient it would be to disregard it, it's not a suggestion.

That's a good thing, too. Because people don't have to take suggestions. It's like giving someone good advice and watching them not take it. For example:
"Don't jump off of the Empire State Building, Freddy. That cape doesn't make you Superman!"
"That's where you're wrong, Chuck. But don't worry, you'll see!"
And then that's the end of poor Freddy because he just didn't feel like taking Chuck's advice.
No, he'd rather plummet to his death than admit that he doesn't have superpowers.

I realize that's an exaggeration, but to me that's the same as someone saying "Oh, don't worry. I stop if there's a car coming. I mean, duh, right? Haha."

Accidents are called accidents for a reason. And you may intend to stop when there's a car coming, but what if you don't see a car coming? And that can happen even if you stop at EVERY stop sign. That's how I was in my first car accident.

Plus think about it for a minute. If stop signs start to mean "slow down", does that mean red lights could weasel their way into "Red means look both ways and go,"? Because isn't that how stuff happens? Take television for example. Cigarettes used to be a big no-no, and now they're rampant along with casual sex and hard drugs. 

Is that what we call progress?

I'm just sayin'.


1 comment:

Sandra Ferguson said...

Gotta love these pictures. How frighteningly accurate they are as well.

What is it with rolling stops? Isn't that an oxymoron? No, wait, it's called a YIELD, and has its own special sign. Personally, I think we need blinking lights around stop signs. Nope, that doesn't work so well either. Think school zones. They've put the things on solar energy, so no matter what those blinking lights will 'flash, baby, flash.' Alas no, people don't pay attention to those either.

I'm always trying to figure out, where are people heading in SUCH a hurry that they can't obey traffic signs? Here's a thought -- leave earlier then no one needs to run the stop sign, the red light, the yield sign or speed in a school zone. Okay, so I still believe in the Easter bunny, but it could happen, couldn't it? Couldn't it?