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.
If you want to get in deeper about stop-sign intersections, check out my eBook for drivers: Intersections Illustrated: Stop Signs Edition.
Kind of like sports illustrated… only the sport is Stop Signs 😆
An entire ebook all about how to drive safely at Stop Sign Intersections. It’s over at my online store. 🙂
Hope that all made sense.
Read more about stop signs
Right turns without stop signs – Right of way Basics and shoulder checking