A stop sign is one of our most valubale and effective control devices when used at the right place under the right conditions. It is intended to help drivers and pedestrians at an intersection to decide who has the right-of-way.
One common misuse of stope signs is to arbitrarily interrupt through trafic, either by causing it to stop, or by causing such an inconvenience as to force the traffic to use other routes. Where stop signs are installed as "nuisances" or "speed breakers," there is a high incidence of intentional violation. In those locations where vehicles do stop, the speed reduction is effective only in the immediate vicinity of the stop sign, and frequently speeds are actually higher between intersections. For these reasons, it should not be used as a speed control device.
Well-developed, nationally recognized guidelines help to indicate when such controls become necessary. These guidelines take into consideration among other things, the probability of vehicles arriving at an intersection at the same time, then length of time traffic must wait to enter, and the availability of safe crossing opportunities.
*For more detailed information on this topic visit the Traffic Engineering Web page. Under Additional Information you will find a complete explanation on this topic as well as several others.