STOP

Dianna Albanese, Viewpoints Editor

You’re driving through the neighborhood. You see a stop sign, but no one else on the road. Thinking about saving a few seconds and cruising through? Think again.

We’ve all heard about and seen people get caught by cameras on red lights…but stop signs? Some U.S. states have installed or are in the process of installing new cameras on stop signs. California has already made it a common thing. Maryland and Washington D.C. are next. As news of the stop sign camera travels, many are questioning the new law. They claim that it’s just another way for the government to catch and fine a person on the road. People are constantly thinking of the money aspect, but what about safety? I could name at least ten times where I’ve been driving around town and I had to slam on my brakes because someone (both teenagers and adults) blew their stop sign. Whether they were distracted by a cell phone, in a rush, or blatantly ignoring the large red octagon that they see every day on every street corner, it’s become quite obvious that people do not take stop signs seriously.

The most dangerous time for driving around Wantagh is the morning, when people are trying to get to school. We all know that you’re trying to get a spot in senior parking. We all know that you’re trying to beat the buses and drop off your kid so you can start your day. Everyone’s doing the same thing. Are you really going to blow every single stop sign to get to the school first? This isn’t Fast 5. Stopping a few times on your way to school won’t kill you; not stopping might.

In fact, this is a top cause of car crashes. Thousands of cars each year are involved in stop sign accidents. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, “There were 13,627 cars involved in fatal car accidents that were caused by a driver running a stop sign in 1999 and 2000.”

Accidents happen. But over something as simple as a stop sign? Stop sign cameras could change habits for the better, and save a few lives in the process.