[Tagging] Stop sign?

A.Pirard.Papou A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 01:54:00 GMT 2012

On 2012-11-23 20:03, Philip Barnes wrote :
> Again in most of Western Europe, not the UK, a system giving priority 
> to traffic from the right exists so many minor junctions have no road 
> markings but the priority to the right rule exists. My experience is, 
> I have no problem giving way but taking it took some time to master. 
> In Europe when a stop sign is used, there is always a main road which 
> has priority.
The priority to the right is quite a story in Belgium.
One day, lawyers correctly noticed that some minor crossings had no 
priority signals or that rust or a crash can have them fall down. So, 
mainly for a matter of law, so that a culprit would exist instead of the 
administration, right of way to the right by default was decided.
But then, bourgmestres/burgemeesters (mayors) decided to /*remove*/ some 
existing priority signs, mostly in towns, alleging that this would slow 
down the traffic and increase security.  And the more they did the more 
the next towns would do too.
This resulted in anti-natural priority and in drivers from minor road 
not daring to use their priority right and stopping anyway. Fortunately, 
there was a rule stating that someone who stops looses his priority and 
people knew how to behave in that case.
But now, that rule has been abolished, so that if someone gently waves 
at you to go first, your answer must be a no no.
The four cars at a crossing situation has never been solved.
I remember having discussed that with an Englishman. He couldn't 
understand much of what I was saying.  To him, priority was always 
natural.  Indeed, most of the crossings in that (new)town were T 
crossings, or otherwise clearly prioritized, one could not miss the 
Major Road Ahead and, on the main roads, the roundabouts were plenty and 
wide, where you can revolve until you're sure of your direction.
Some Belgian roundabouts I call "a stone in the middle of the road 
around which those who U-turn have priority over those driving straight 
ahead" (indeed they're sometimes so small that you almost cross them in 
a straight line and the center is almost flat so that the line can be 
perfectly straight for the lorries).
> Stop signs are much less common in the UK than North America, in most 
> cases the minor road just has to give way sign, or in the UK just road 
> markings on minor roads. Stop signs are relatively rare in the UK, 
> they are generally only used where visibility is difficult. In other 
> countries I find myself thinking, 'why the stop sign, I can see'. 
Stop signs are rare in Belgium.  Their reason for being is to to stop 
even if no traffic is coming on the major road.  I think they were 
decided where accidents occurred.  They fit my definition of the ideal 
road sign: warning from whose who know the place to those who don't.

Each country his story.  I wonder about Roman ways ;-)  (don't you ever 
mock  OSM 

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