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Roundabouts creating bad driving habits

There are no roundabouts in Kewaunee County, but you will still see the impact of them on area roads. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski credits the relatively new intersection style for some drivers failing to yield to oncoming traffic and not halting completely when approaching a stop sign on other area roadways where there are no roundabouts. It is leading to more traffic stops and has the potential of creating accidents along the way. Joski believes roundabouts do a good job regulating traffic flow in the right places, but until they come to Kewaunee County, he wants motorists to follow the rules of the road.

He encourages motorists to look both ways not once but twice when crossing a controlled intersection because of different factors like poor visibility and vehicle size and color. You can read more about this topic from Joski below.

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Each week for the past decade, I dedicate a portion of my time to putting together these weekly articles. There are times when the topic is readily available due to a specific time of year or the observation of a given safety initiative. Some of the best ideas however, come from members of the community who reach out to me with a concern or topic they would like covered. This is exactly the case for this week’s article which my contributor so eloquently requested to be titled; “Stop Sign Intersections are not Roundabouts!”

            

For many of us, our driving history pre-dates the advent of these new intersection devices, and some have adapted better than others to them. I do believe that roundabouts do create a safer environment while expediting the flow of traffic through the given intersection. The purpose of this article and its relationship to roundabouts is that we need to recognize that there are in fact traditional intersections still governed by the standard stop sign. In these cases, the hard and fast rules still apply, and that is that you must come to a complete stop prior to proceeding into the intersection. You must also yield right of way to all traffic not controlled by a stop sign.  Too often we see accidents which occur due a driver’s circumventing one or both of these requirements, due to either inattentiveness or impatience.

           

Just so there is no suspicion that I making this stuff up, here is the actual statute as stated under 346.46(1)

   

“Except when directed to proceed by a traffic officer or traffic control signal, every operator of a vehicle approaching an official stop sign at an intersection shall cause such vehicle to stop before entering the intersection and shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles which have entered or are approaching the intersection upon a highway which is not controlled by an official stop sign or traffic signal.”

         

Another contributing factor regarding accidents at stop signs is what it means to actually stop. I have heard many phrases pertaining to stopping such as a “slow and go” or “California Roll” or even “Stopish” so here is the actual definition: “To cease all movement”.

         

In reality your vehicle should be stopped long enough for you the driver to be able to look both left and right not just once but twice before proceeding. This second visual is important as there are unique vehicles such as motorcycles or bicyclists which may be missed at first glance.

        

The good news is that we do not at this time have any roundabouts established here in Kewaunee County, so it should be easy to remember when approaching any intersection within our county that they are ALL controlled intersections. Whether a two way or a four way, the same rules apply. Stop completely- Look both ways (Twice)- Proceed when Safe.

        

I hope this clarifies matters and provides guidance as we navigate through both traditional intersections as well as the roundabouts we come across in our travels. Stay Safe!

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