16 May 2018 3:00pm
They are the road signs which seem to issue a clear, simple direction to road users – STOP and GIVE WAY – but a concerning number of motorist don’t seem to know what these words mean.
Between 1 July 2017 and 30 April 2018 there were 164 collisions recorded by police at intersections controlled by a Stop sign – four of which resulted in fatalities and five of which resulted in people receiving serious, life-changing injuries.
In relation to Give Way signs, there were 456 collisions recorded by police (five of which resulted in fatalities, and 10 resulting in serious injuries).
During the same period, 2639 expiations were issued for stop sign offences and 643 for give way offences.
In a bid to remind drivers of the importance of paying attention to these signs, adherence to these will be the focus of tomorrow's one-day-a-month education-focused Traffic Thursday campaign by SA Police.
For those who need a refresher ahead of Traffic Thursday, the following information is from The Driver’s Handbook:
When you are faced with a Stop sign, you must stop your vehicle at the stop line or, where there is no stop line, as near as practicable to but before entering the intersection.
When you are faced with a Give Way sign, you must slow down and, if necessary, stop your vehicle in order to Give Way.
What is 'Giving way'?
To give way to another vehicle or a pedestrian, means:
a. if that vehicle or pedestrian is stopped - you must remain stationary until it is safe to proceed
b. in any other case - slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision.
Superintendent Robert Gray, the officer in charge of the SA Police Traffic Support Branch, said Traffic Thursday was a short-sharp, monthly education campaign designed to get motorists thinking about their own driving behaviour.
“We find that drivers take the skills involved for granted, but it is very important that everyone using the state’s roads pay attention to the task at hand,” he said.
“Running a stop sign may seem like a simple lapse, but it can have fatal consequences.
“There are also a range of circumstances in which a motorist has an obligation to give way to other road users – including pedestrians, so it is important that drivers know the road rules.
“Many of the Give Way rules and failing to stop at a stop sign or line at an intersection carry an expiation fee of $419 (plus a $60 victims of crime levy).
“Today I urge drivers take a moment to refresh their knowledge of the law, and pay attention to the task at hand.”