Stop Means Stop Or Does It?



It has come to my attention, that people out west of the airport do not stop for the stop signs on their streets.

Several times I have nearly been hit while walking or driving, by someone that fails to stop.

I was under the impression that this was against the law, but can seem to get little if any response from the police department. I don’t recall the last time I saw an officer even so much as just drive through the neighborhood. Let alone actually attempt to curb this situation or any of the others out here.

I spent about two-and-a-half hours on just one day (8 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m.) taking videos of people that stopped and those that did not. Over 50 vehicles passed by me during those times admittedly not all ran the signs, but many did — more than 65 percent. I am sorry, but this is ridiculous to the point of comedy. Some of the drivers only stop because someone is in the way or because they’re not sure if the other vehicle approaching is going to stop. Some went through so fast that I couldn’t even catch them in the intersection with my camera.

Stop means just that, stop. By definition from ARS 28-855 B: “A driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no crosswalk, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, or if there is no line, shall stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection except when directed to proceed by a police officer.”

That means not — speed to other places; not — skid tires on pavement; and especially not — slow to overall pause. It means stop!

Now I realize people will from time to time fudge a little, have seen a great many Payson city vehicles doing just that.

But, this situation is unacceptable and needs to be corrected immediately if not sooner. Yet if you ask a Payson police officer — he’ll tell you that a rolling stop is OK — “so long as it’s not over 5 mph” — and yes that is a direct quote. So now we not only have drivers who ignore the laws, we have police officers interpreting them as well!

I was under the impression that it was the officer’s duty to enforce the written laws of the city, county and state. And that the courts were the ones to interpret. Least that’s what I learned in school. Maybe I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

The town keeps complaining that they’re out of money or that it doesn’t have enough money. Well at 15 to 20 people running the stop signs out here every day, that’s a lot of money going down the drain. Perhaps we could get our police officers to stop spending so much time at Circle K leering at the cashiers, or hiding out behind somebody’s store and possibly get them out on the streets?

As a secondary thought for yourself and the council — if you don’t have enough money to go around now, how are you going to pay for the lawsuit(s) that could be filed over the lack of police actions in the event that (God forbid) someone should be hurt or even killed due to lack of enforcement and or the total indifference being paid to this situation?

Now I realize this is not a major priority for the police department, obviously — since they won’t/don’t do anything about it.

But several people in the neighborhood are now carrying guns during their walks. They do so in the certain and absolute belief that their lives are in danger just by being on the street. What is it going to take to get some action on this?

Will it actually take someone being hit or the alternative — someone being shot?

Matt Dixson


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