4-way stop rules reviewed

Saturday, August 7, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- With the installation of the four-way stop at State Road 240 and Percy Julian Dr./Zinc Mill Rd. on Wednesday, there has been some confusion among motorists over how to proceed at the stop.

Some have commented that the intersection is almost like an eight-way stop, with turn lanes coming from each of the four directions.

However, the basic rules of four-way stops apply, regardless of the number of lanes.

The Greencastle Police Department would like to remind the public of the rules of four-way stops.

GPD Chief Tom Sutherlin said the first thing to remember is pretty basic: you need to stop.

"First of all, all drivers must come to a complete stop meaning all four tires must stop moving," Sutherlin said.

From there, intersections first of all operate on a first-come-first-served basis.

"Generally speaking the first one to arrive at the stop sign has the right-of-way to proceed first," Sutherlin said.

The confusion comes when drivers arrive at the same time. It's all a matter of position.

"If two drivers stop at the stop sign at the same time then the driver on the right proceeds first. If more than two drivers stop at the same time, then the driver on the farthest right proceeds first," Sutherlin said.

And, of course, with left turns crossing the most lanes of traffic, they always yield the right of way to other drivers arriving at the same time.

"Regarding the left turns, the drivers proceeding straight ahead would have the right-of-way over the drivers turning left," Sutherlin concluded.

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  • So now it comes to this,,, the drivers in Greencastle need Driver's Ed via the Banner Graphic!

    These are BASIC driver's Ed instructions that should be included on a test or at least discussed in a classroom BEFORE you get your license.

    See the irony? First drivers are so dumb they pull out in front of semi's at that intersection. Then to help these dumb drivers, install a 4-way stop. Oops, forgot to tell all how to use a stop sign!

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 5:02 AM
  • i agree.....so i guess from this article "we the people" are "we the stupid" ....so the real reason this intersection is not working is the people's fault for not knowing how to drive? WOW !!! We had a problem stopping properly when there was TWO stops signs...soooooo lets add more!!!! great idea!!! SHOULDA INSTALLED LIGHTS NOT SIGNS....

    -- Posted by aemommy on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 7:16 AM
  • I am curious, aemommy, as to why you think a stop light commands more authority to stop than a stop sign. You stated it correctly when you said "..so the real reason this intersection is not working is the people's fault for not knowing how to drive?"

    The current cliche is "you can't fix stupid" but I prefer the old Pogo adage,"I have met the enemy and it is us".

    -- Posted by exhoosier2 on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 7:57 AM
  • How comical as to need a law officer to explain the laws of the road. These were taught in drivers ed classes but as I drive I have experienced many drivers that either didn't take the class, forgot the lesssons given, flunked the course, are just plain rude, really don't know how to drive or are to impatient to wait for their turn to proceed. It will be interesting to see how many comments this article gets.

    ps.... please use your turn signals, another rule of the road

    -- Posted by dumpsterdiva2 on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 8:32 AM
  • I think explaining the rules is a great idea!! Instead of feeling like we are being talked down to, embrace it. If this rules clarification saves one life or prevents one accident then it was well worth the time to read. Also, having driven in this town for 20 plus years, there are certainly several motorists that could use a refresher course! Thanks Tom and the GPD.

    -- Posted by idiot on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 10:21 AM
  • Sorry idiot, I'll never embrace it, but you be sure to show it to all YOUR friends and relatives. Please!!

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 11:58 AM
  • I agree with the idiot.

    A stop light would be better serve but lets try and play it safe until the city figures it out.

    -- Posted by mad-mom on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 1:43 PM
  • Hey there Xgamer, you seem to have nothing but negative things to say about anything that the writers at the Banner Graphic publish in the paper. If you've noticed, there's a reporters position open, why don't you apply and see if they hire your intelligent self....As far as a signal at this location, it doesn't warrant one. A few hours of traffic isn't enough. Maybe someone should think about changing the hours of school or even better, when the shifts at the factories are let off. What did the drivers do before the bypass? Do it again if you don't want to wait in the traffic. The Stop sign is not a fix, can not believe INDOT agreed to it. So because people don't know how to use a 4-way stop, thats why the Banner published the rules....I'm sure Mr. Xgamer will have something smart to say about this, bring it, I can argue the signal issue with you.

    -- Posted by cp on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 1:56 PM
  • Xgamer is just upset because he got Cheeto dust on his keyboard and its a little sticky. Everyone could use a little reminder of traffic laws now and then sheesh get over it!

    -- Posted by hardtobelieve on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 5:35 PM
  • cp, my negativity is aimed at ignorant drivers who warrant public instructions on something as basic as a 4-way stop sign. In the past, the Banner has done well in eliminating my comments when I cross them.

    The bypass was designed to relieve the town of the factory/school traffic and divert some semi traffic around downtown. The 4-way stop defeats the purpose.

    Sorry cp, I have nothing smart about your comment. The traffic light is not my choice either. My solution is for drivers to be more responsible, pay attention and put down the cell phone.

    (So, BG,,, how much does it pay?)

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 6:02 PM
  • hardtobelieve, that was a good one.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 6:07 PM
  • This is to Xgamer, wish you would get your facts together first before posting. 1st off the girl that was hit by the semi is not ignorant, and 2nd she was NOT on her cell phone.

    -- Posted by daoclo on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 8:14 PM
  • So there was a girl hit by a semi at this intersection? Very sorry to hear that if true.

    Has anyone taken a written test to get your license these days? Not only is alot of it BS things you never need to know(parallel parking for example) but it is fairly difficult to pass unless you study for it. That being said, I encounter drivers every single day where there is no way in heck they were able to pass this test fairly.

    What it boils down to is understanding that you are operating a large vehicle that can kill people or yourself if you do not use it responsibly.

    As far as GPD issuing statements on this, Suthlerin is a good guy but there are quite a few "officers" that can't even follow their own schooling/rules so I couldn't care less what they have to say.

    Nuff ranting I guess.

    -- Posted by GPDHazIssues on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 12:59 AM
  • It's NOT condescending for the Banner to publish this story. It's a reminder to drivers who have forgotten, don't know or just don't care how to maneuver a 4-way stop. I face it in Greencastle everyday going to and from work. I applaud the Banner for caring enough about the people in this county for writing the stories they do to try to get the information out there. Everyone has their own opinion, but learned a long time ago, you can't make everyone happy. If you don't like what the Banner says, apply for the job, see if you can do better!!!

    -- Posted by cp on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 11:29 AM
  • UMad...it is moronic people like you that do not know anything about the accident other than what you have heard, and boy the story gets bigger and bigger.

    -- Posted by daoclo on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 9:46 PM
  • daoclo you obviously have a dog in the girl in car versus semi fight. It was pretty cut and dried. The girl, for whatever reason pulled into the path of the truck and got clobbered. You can try to blame this or that but in the end it was the driver of the car that was responsible for causing the accident. She was the only one in control of the car. You have a different version?

    -- Posted by Registered Voter on Mon, Aug 9, 2010, at 2:12 AM
  • trash this whole thing is ridiculous!

    -- Posted by BlackBarbie22 on Mon, Aug 9, 2010, at 11:33 AM
  • I know not many will agree with me but I would rather have the stop signs than a stop light at this point. At least you pull up come to a complete stop and then you get to go. The wait time on a stop light would be considerably longer. I think most people would agree it was hard to get onto Veteran's Highway before if you were coming from the school and Ivy Tech. Give it time and it should get easier. There was an issue and they addressed it. See if it works, if it doesn't ask for another solution. The real test will be this Thursday when school starts! Please be careful

    -- Posted by familycounts on Mon, Aug 9, 2010, at 1:22 PM
  • Registered Voter, I have never said that the accident was not the girls fault, just said I dont think she is ignorant and she was not on her cell phone. It was an accident.

    -- Posted by daoclo on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 11:16 AM
  • I know I am coming late to this discussion, but I agree that it is good to know and review the rules every so often. My problem with the chief's explanation is this: "If more than two drivers stop at the same time, then the driver on the farthest right proceeds first." How the heck are we supposed to know who is "the farthest right" if we all get there at the same time? Whose "farthest right" are we talking about? This is the sort of thing that confuses people at 4-way stops all the time and why a light is better at a dangerous intersection.

    -- Posted by deecie on Mon, Sep 27, 2010, at 10:56 PM
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