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Coming to complete stop may save you costly ticket
by Ruben San Miguel & Tami Troell
Jul 23, 2014 | 208 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One task that most drivers take for granted is the full stop. Sitting at the driving school on a daily basis and observing the four-way stop at the corners of Market and Franklin, allows the driver education students to critique the interactions of vehicles at those stop signs. Without fail, the vast majority of vehicles utilizing this intersection do not make a safe, legal stop.

TRC 541.401 defines a stop or stopping as completely ceasing movement. TRC 544.010 states that unless directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic-control signal, the operator of a vehicle approaching an intersection with a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at a clearly marked stop line. In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of the approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. If safety requires, the operator of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall also stop.

In Texas, we do not have a “rolling stop” allowance for stop signs. If you roll through a stop sign, you are breaking the law and will be ticketed when you are caught. Driver education students are taught that a complete stop requires the transfer of weight to the rear of the vehicle.

When a vehicle accelerates, there is a transfer of weight to the rear of the vehicle. Conversely, braking causes a transfer of weight to the front of the vehicle. When a vehicle begins the stopping action, the vehicle will shift forward with the weight transfer.

In order to make a complete stop, the vehicle must have a shift of weight to the rear tires – no shift of weight to the rear … no stop. A law enforcement officer once told me to think of it like an animal that was in motion going back on its haunches. The movement backwards creates the “stop.” Texas law does not define a stop by a certain amount of time that must be counted before moving forward, such as count to three.

Arrests (being stopped by law enforcement) pertaining to stop signs are as follows: 1. Disregard Stop Sign or 2. Failed to Stop at the Designated Stop Line. It is a violation if you come to a complete stop but you are either on or in front of the white, painted stop line. A citation issued for these offenses will result in a fine and court costs of up to $200.

If you have a question about traffic laws, you can submit them to ruben.sanmiguel@dps.texas.gov, happytroells@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/happytroells.
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