29 Jun 2012 Stop Signs: Keeping Your Massachusetts Auto Insurance Premiums in Check

Do you operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts? Well then it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the MA driving laws, as well as being familiar with exactly where the obligations lie for drivers. Maintaining a moderate to low premium on your MA auto insurance will depend on obeying the Massachusetts driving laws. Below I’ll discuss everything that drivers need to know about stop signs. For most of us it’s been a few years since taking the formal drivers test, so it’s best to brush up on your knowledge.

Is it true that you have to stop for three full seconds when approaching a stop sign?

  • Well you don’t have to literally stop and then count to three. But you do need to come to a complete stop before any crosswalk, painted stop line or stop sign. Upon stopping you must let any pedestrians cross; as pedestrians always have the right of way. If this is a 4-way stop the first vehicle to the intersection has the right to proceed with caution first.

Does each automobile in line at the stop sign have to stop individually?

  • Regardless of the circumstances; each car in line must come to a complete stop before any crosswalk, painted stop line or stop sign.

Do the same rules apply at a blinking red light as do at a stop sign?

  • The same rules apply as to a stop sign; drivers must come to a complete stop and then may proceed with caution after yielding to any pedestrians.

Do pedestrians have any obligations?

  • If just a normal crosswalk is present with nothing directing walkers, then after stopping and using due caution, pedestrians have the right of way to cross the street. Typically at a stop sign intersection ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t Walk’ signals directing pedestrians are not present, but if they are; this changes the circumstances. A pedestrian must be in the crosswalk before the signal counts to one, otherwise they no longer have the right of way.
  • A good rule of thumb: Automobiles should ALWAYS halt when pedestrians enter a crosswalk.

For the full language of the Massachusetts driving laws, Mass.gov is a great resource.

*Authored by Amanda Spittell

For more information about this topic, or to get some answers about your current insurance situation, please visit our virtual insurance agency at berryinsurance.com, stop by one of our two locations, or give us a call at (800) 941-3317.

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