[Tagging] Stop sign?

John F. Eldredge john at jfeldredge.com
Sat Nov 24 02:08:51 GMT 2012


"A.Pirard.Papou" <A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 
> <http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=46.567&lon=6.788&zoom=9&layers=M&relation=124582>.)
> 
> 
> 
> 
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I suspect the Roman rules of the road were based more on rank than anything else.  Anyone who failed to yield the right of way to the emperor was likely to end up as lion chow in the Coliseum.

-- 
John F. Eldredge -- john at jfeldredge.com
"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all." -- Hypatia of Alexandria
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