You’re not alone in wondering about this
stop sign vs stop line
Here is a real story about a stop sign vs stop line. A Richmond, BC man recently took his stop-sign ticket to Supreme Court, and won.
The man stopped at a stop sign, rolled past the stop line (which was some 5 feet away from the sign), and received a ticket.
The police officer was correct in that the man did not follow proper procedure.
But, the judge agreed that the stop sign was confusing. It was located at a great length from the stop line. This was making the situation confusing for many drivers.
Stop sign vs stop line rules
Technically, you must stop at the stop line, not necessarily right beside the stop sign.
Sometimes the stop sign is at a slightly different location than the line, for different reasons.
One reason is that large trucks turning may need more room, so the stop line may be well before the sign in certain industrial areas.
Or, the stop sign may be located before the line due to visibility reasons.
Here are the general guidelines, as per the ICBC Learn to Drive Smart Manual.
when there’s a white Stop Line
If there is a stop line, stop with your front bumper just behind the line.
Stop sign vs stop sign : When there is a Marked Crosswalk
If there is a crosswalk, but no stop line, stop with the front bumper just behind the crosswalk.
Stop Sign vs Stop Line: When there is an Unmarked Crosswalk
If there is an unmarked crosswalk – there is a sidewalk – stop just before where the crosswalk would be.
When there is an Intersection – no markings
If there is no stop line, no crosswalk, and no sidewalk, stop just before the front bumper enters the intersection. The front bumper can be in line with the edge of the curb.
Stop sign vs stop line: Why?
Think about the reasons why we must stop before the line:
- Pedestrian safety
- Vehicles may be cutting corners
- Large trucks may be turning
- Other vehicles may not be able to see you properly if you stop too far away from the line and/or may become confused as to what you’re doing
If visibility is a problem
If, after you stop, you still can’t see properly, then you may inch forward into the intersection if need be. But, you must stop at the line (or proper position) first.
Question on stopping twice at the stop sign
Question: Daughter failed her N test. Tester failed her because she would come to a full stop at lines at stop signs, then inch out until she could see clear to go.
Didn’t creep out too far as to impede traffic or anything. He told her she shouldn’t have “stopped” twice? Should she stops past the stop line until she can see, or will the new tester tell her that is wrong too? Confused?
Were they all 4-way stops?
Of course it depends on the circumstance and intersection. If you stop at the line and have perfect visibility then you should simply stop and check for pedestrians and traffic, and go when safe.
If you don’t have visibility (blocked due to trees or parked vehicles, for example) then you pretty much have to stop twice more often than not.
If the entire test was failed for only this behavior then I am guessing it was failed for too many B4 on the scoring sheet which is a “gap.”
This basically means there was a safe opportunity to “go” and the driver did not take it (they were stopping again unnecessarily or being too cautious).
In future, the best thing to do is talk to the examiner after the test if you do not understand something. That way, it is fresh in their mind and if you still disagree, you can ask to speak to the manager and he/she can figure out a better explanation or solution.
Where To Stop For Pedestrians At A Stop-Sign Intersection
It is good practice to stop well before an intersection when stopping for pedestrians. And yes, every intersection is a legal place for pedestrians to cross the road, unless a sign says otherwise.
One reason is so that a vehicle may be able to move through the intersection without being blocked by you.
Since you are stopping anyway – may as well leave them the opportunity to go.
In this case (in the video), it seems a law enforcement vehicle may be tending to something important. Another reason is to protect the pedestrians in the event you are rear-ended. You have an entire vehicle around you; they do not.
Read more about stop signs
Right turns without stop signs – Right of way Basics and shoulder checking
Carmen C. is the founder of DrivingInstructorBlog.com After becoming an ICBC-GLP (Graduated Licensing Program) driving instructor at the age of 22, she worked for about 8 years teaching driving lessons in beautiful North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
In 2012 she decided to pour her knowledge into a website and share this information with the world! 🌎 She no longer teaches, but enjoys writing and maintaining this blog, creating abstract art when inspired, and photography.