I’ve noticed that stop signs at intersections, at least in Buffalo and Amherst, are treated increasingly as if they’re optional; indeed, the “rolling stop” is no longer a stop at all for some drivers. It’s not that stop signs are treated like yield signs; quite the opposite.
Regularly I’ll be the first to halt at a four-way-stop intersection; another driver (male or female) will zoom up on the cross street, see that I’m stopped, and speed right on through.
This also happens at traffic circles with stop signs. In addition, people are running stop lights at higher speeds and longer after the light has changed. Not very “City of Good Neighbors.”
All this is especially risky when so many drivers are distracted. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and careful drivers must be more cautious at intersections, where more and more it seems like anything goes. Weren’t we all taught in kindergarten that, for the common good, we should follow safety rules and take turns?
Besides being dangerous, this behavior is selfish and discourteous, another example of the rudeness and incivility which seem to affect so many aspects of our public life. Is it perhaps filtering down from our role models in Washington? Let’s not forget: we’re all in this together.