Stop Sign Reviews


Correct Use and Function
A stop sign is one of our most valuable and effective control devices when used at the right place and under the right conditions. It is intended to help drivers and pedestrians at an intersection decide who has the right-of-way. The city of Sault Ste. Marie uses The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to help establish the guidelines for intersection traffic control and the correct use for stop signs. These guidelines take into consideration, among other things, the probability of vehicles arriving at an intersection at the same time, the length of time traffic must wait to enter, traffic delays, and the availability of safe crossing opportunities.

Purpose of a Stop Sign
The stop sign is used to assign right of way at an intersection and to make sure that traffic flows smoothly and predictably. This does not make it an effective means to control speeding. Research shows that where stop signs are installed as “deterrents” or “speed breakers,” there are high incidences of intentional violations resulting in accidents. Stop signs are not warranted in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as an effective measure to reduce speeding.

Amount of Stop Signs
As with any traffic control device, overuse of stop signs will cause many drivers to ignore them, creating a more hazardous situation, especially in low volume areas, such as residential neighborhoods. Resident calls/emails about adding a stop sign. Engineering department is notified, an intersection review is conducted. Memo of determination is issued, if stop sign is not warranted, case is closed. If warranted, the Public Services Department is notified, stop sign is added. Revised 06/10/2022 Because a stop sign causes a substantial inconvenience to motorists, it should be used only where needed. Studies have shown that, sometimes, after installing a stop sign there is an increase in rear-end collisions.

Memo of Determination
After an intersection review is conducted, a memo of determination will be issued to the request ticket file and copied to the resident requesting, indicating the findings of the review. The intersection follow the criteria outlined in the MUTCD:

  • Vehicle and pedestrian volumes
  • Traffic speeds
  • Visibility (sight distance) at the intersection, i.e., trees, shrubbery, hills, and curves
  • Accident history

If a stop sign is not warranted, the case is closed. If a stop sign is determined to be warranted, the Department of Public Works is notified, and a stop sign will be placed.

If you are witnessing speeding as a problem in your area, contact the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department to notify them of the problem.