Traffic Tuesday - who has the right of way at a stop sign?

Stop sign intersections can be some of the most frustrating. How many times have you sat at a stop sign trying to go through the intersection, but other drivers go before you out of turn? If all drivers understood the law, the frustration could be easily alleviated.

Florida Statute 316.123 Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

(1) The right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized in s. 316.006.

(2)(a) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.

In this section, the statute clearly says that you can not enter an intersection until you can move within or across the intersection.  This is understandable.  Do not pull out until it is clear. The next section is where people either do not understand, or decide to not obey.

(b) At a four-way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

The first vehicle to stop at the intersection has the right of way and should be the first to proceed through the intersection. At a four way stop if two vehicles arrive at the same time, the driver to the left has to yield the right of way to the driver on the right. Sounds pretty simple, but many drivers do not obey this. Attached is a simple video that shows the proper way to yield the right of way at a four way stop sign intersection.

Drive Safe!!!

About the Author:

Master Sergeant Patrick O'Grady is a 24 year veteran of law enforcement, assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police. He serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the Cape Coral Police Department and oversees the Public Affairs Office and the Planning and Research Unit.

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Master Sergeant O’Grady has previously served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, DUI Officer, Drug Recognition Expert and a Traffic Homicide Investigator. He has also served as a supervisor in the Patrol Bureau over district officers and the Field Training and Evaluation Program. Master Sergeant O’Grady has served in the Special Operations Bureau as a supervisor of the Nighttime Traffic Unit and Major Crash Investigators. He is an instructor for the Cape Coral Police Department on several different topic areas and holds several certifications. 

Master Sergeant O’Grady holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Hodges University.

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341