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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 12-22-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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Where to stop for a flagperson at roadworks?

As I departed my parking spot at the side of a commercial road, I observed a blue Honda Civic ahead that had stopped in her lane and then proceeded to drive slowly towards the intersection ahead. As the car turned right at the intersection, I noticed it was a young driver with a green "N" in the back window. I chalked the apparant difficulty up to her having temporary vehicle or shifting troubles as she cleared the intersection without incident.

I waited for a couple of cars coming from the left to turn before I too proceeded to make the right turn, following the blue Civic. The Civic came to a stop with no tail lights or signals. I tapped my horn briefly to signal that I was behind her and waiting to proceed. She remained stopped so I signalled to pass and proceeded to pass safely and slowly and then back into my lane.

About 50 yards ahead there was some road construction going on and a flagperson madly waving a "STOP" sign. I came to a stop and then observed the flagperson apparantly waving me ahead while holding the sign. I made the assumption that he wanted me to move forward so I proceeded slowly.

He again held the STOP sign high while waving me forward. There was still a good 20 yards between myself and any construction equipment and activities.

As I moved forward he approached my car and told me to roll down my window. Apparantly the hand signals I saw from 15 yards away as "move forward" was actually him telling me to roll down my window.

I mean this in the literal sense, not the derogatory sense, but the flagperson was noticeably challenged in some way. He proceeded to dicipline me for passing the stopped vehicle at a construction zone and that I should pay more attention. I didn't see the need to debate with him so I just acknowledged his comments and moved on when directed.

Back to the blue Civic. If it had stopped closer to the flagperson or there were construction vehicles, trailers or activity in the immediate vicinity I wouldn't have seen the need to pass it. Since the Civic driver had demonstrated trouble on the side street, I felt that it was simply a case of a new driver having some difficulties.

Also, if the DRL rules applied to tail-lamps, I would have been better able to determine if her vehicle was running or not.

Was I in the wrong or was this simply a case of a flagperson with a very bad sense of distance perception?
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:41 PM   #2
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The way you explain it the flagperson was giving signals that were not clearly understood by you. You made the right choice to stop and listen and there certainly would have been nothing wrong in explaining that you misunderstood the hand signals. On occasion I have been confused by flag people too.

I'm not sure what part tailights play in all of this as your explanation doesn't say anything about whether it was dark, light or dusk at the time this all took place.

In the absence of any other indication, you would stop before you pass the flagperson and before you were in a position to interfere with the construction project.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:17 PM   #3
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I think sebberry is being deliberately obtuse. Just based on previous posts.

"The Civic came to a stop with no tail lights or signals."
"Also, if the DRL rules applied to tail-lamps, I would have been better able to determine if her vehicle was running or not."

I don't see what these have to do with each other... if she came to a stop with no lights showing AT ALL, the natural assumption would be that her brake lights were faulty, not that she was rolling to an unpowered stop. Even the greenest noob would be stabbing the brakes to come to a stop, ESPECIALLY if the engine died.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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The way you explain it the flagperson was giving signals that were not clearly understood by you. You made the right choice to stop and listen and there certainly would have been nothing wrong in explaining that you misunderstood the hand signals. On occasion I have been confused by flag people too.

I'm not sure what part tailights play in all of this as your explanation doesn't say anything about whether it was dark, light or dusk at the time this all took place.

In the absence of any other indication, you would stop before you pass the flagperson and before you were in a position to interfere with the construction project.
It was during the day. The Civic didn't have any brake lights on, and since the way DRLs work here (or should I say don't work here), there was no indication that the Civic was about to be put in motion. I couldn't even tell if the motor was running. For all I know, she could have been broken down, stalled, etc...


Since the Civic stopped 50+ yards ahead of the flagperson, it didn't appear that the flagperson wanted the Civic to stop there for any specific reason since there was no sign of construction activities or equipment for another 50+ yards.

To me, the Civic was stopped for reasons unrelated to the construction ahead, yet the flagperson seemed to be quite cross with my observation.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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I think sebberry is being deliberately obtuse. Just based on previous posts.

"The Civic came to a stop with no tail lights or signals."
"Also, if the DRL rules applied to tail-lamps, I would have been better able to determine if her vehicle was running or not."

I don't see what these have to do with each other... if she came to a stop with no lights showing AT ALL, the natural assumption would be that her brake lights were faulty, not that she was rolling to an unpowered stop. Even the greenest noob would be stabbing the brakes to come to a stop, ESPECIALLY if the engine died.
I didn't see the Civic come to a stop, I approached the stopped Civic.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:04 AM   #6
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Traffic Control Persons can stop you as far back from where they stand as they want, regardless of where the construction is taking place. I have stopped cars as far as 3 blocks back from me. If the TCP is not "challenged", then the hand signals and body language is pretty clear as to what they want you to do.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:24 PM   #7
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Traffic Control Persons can stop you as far back from where they stand as they want, regardless of where the construction is taking place. I have stopped cars as far as 3 blocks back from me. If the TCP is not "challenged", then the hand signals and body language is pretty clear as to what they want you to do.
I would say that drivers are generally consistent with where they stop when they approach red lights and stop signs, even without a stop line. There is a generally accepted place to stop, and you never see people stopping mid-block for the red light or stop sign ahead.

How does a driver know to stop 50+ yards from a flagperson waving a stop sign?
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #8
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How does a driver know to stop 50+ yards from a flagperson waving a stop sign?
You will know because he/she told you to via body language and hand signals.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #9
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You will know because he/she told you to via body language and hand signals.
I couldn't see the flagperson's sign or hand signals from where I was, and since the Civic driver exhibited similar behavior on another road.. well you get the point.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
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You will know because he/she told you to via body language and hand signals.
You pretty much stop when they hold up the stop sign,if they hadn't wanted the civic to stop then they wouldn't have held it up.By passing a stopped vehicle like that ,regardless of construction or not, you run the risk of possibly hitting something (person,child,dog etc...)The fact that the Civic driver was exhibiting an N is moot,the OP being an "experienced driver" should know better.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:01 PM   #11
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You pretty much stop when they hold up the stop sign,if they hadn't wanted the civic to stop then they wouldn't have held it up.By passing a stopped vehicle like that ,regardless of construction or not, you run the risk of possibly hitting something (person,child,dog etc...)The fact that the Civic driver was exhibiting an N is moot,the OP being an "experienced driver" should know better.
You don't stop when you see a stop light/stop sign at an intersection, you stop at it, or where ths stop line is.

Just because a stop light/sign exists 50+ yards down the road, doesn't mean you stop in the middle of the block.

Given that the Civic driver had previously stopped in the middle of the road on another road for no apparant reason and was demonstrating the same behavior on the second road, I couldn't see why she would be stopping there for the flagperson.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:24 PM   #12
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I understand your point. The Civic driver's actions were confusing. However, had he not exhibited the same behavior on a different road, would you still have passed him having seen the flag person with the stop sign showing? Did you even see the flag person before you passed the Civic? The flag person could have stopped the Civic there because of an approaching emergency vehicle from the other end of the construction zone, or a departing truck. You never know. When a TCP tells you to stop, you stop where you are.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:12 PM   #13
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I understand your point. The Civic driver's actions were confusing. However, had he not exhibited the same behavior on a different road, would you still have passed him having seen the flag person with the stop sign showing?
At that distance, how is one supposed to know that the Civic stopped for the construction and not suffering from a vehicle malfunction?

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Did you even see the flag person before you passed the Civic? The flag person could have stopped the Civic there because of an approaching emergency vehicle from the other end of the construction zone, or a departing truck. You never know. When a TCP tells you to stop, you stop where you are.
I could see that there was a small construction zone ahead but could not clearly see the flagperson.


This is why the title of this thread is what it is. Where do you stop? Most people stop at roughly the same place when there is a red light ahead, not 50 yards from a red light. Same thing for a fixed stop sign.

When a crossing guard holds out the stop sign to let school children cross safely, do you stop 50 yards from the crosswalk? I think I'll start doing that.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:17 PM   #14
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I understand your point. The Civic driver's actions were confusing. However, had he not exhibited the same behavior on a different road, would you still have passed him having seen the flag person with the stop sign showing? Did you even see the flag person before you passed the Civic? The flag person could have stopped the Civic there because of an approaching emergency vehicle from the other end of the construction zone, or a departing truck. You never know. When a TCP tells you to stop, you stop where you are.
^i was going to say that as well.

usually if they want you to stop a fair distance from the actual work, it probably means they need to maneuver some equipment, or a truck is leaving and needs that room to pull out.

seeing as you came upon the civic at a stand still, you could have edged to the other side of the road a bit as you came up behind the civic to try to see around it before making any kind of maneuver to go around.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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seeing as you came upon the civic at a stand still, you could have edged to the other side of the road a bit as you came up behind the civic to try to see around it before making any kind of maneuver to go around.
I was able to see that there were no construction vehicles, construction personnel, trailers, etc... for a good 50 yards in front of the Civic.

The fact that the Civic didn't even have any signs that the engine was running made it even harder to determine that it was stopped there by the flagperson.



Officers... what is the law regarding this? From what I understand, if you approach a stop sign where there is no stop line, you stop where there would normally be a line.

If a flagperson needed to stop vehicles far enough back to allow for equipment to enter/depart the work zone, would the flagperson not move to the location where the traffic needed to stop if nothing more than to ensure traffic stops leaving enough space?

Nobody here can tell me that they make it a matter of routine practice to stop 50 yards away from a stop sign or light.
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:24 AM   #16
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What's to say the driver of the blue Civic wasn't directed to stop there... and was sitting in park?

If that was the case.. and you passed them in a construction zone... I would have given you shit too.
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:07 PM   #17
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I stop when the flag person motions me to stop, even if I'm 50 yards away. If they hold up a stop sign with their hand up, I stop. If they hold up the stop sign but wave me forward, I'll go up slowly until they put their hand up. You couldn't look through the Civic's window to see what was ahead or was the window tinted? Your question seems irrelevant to the situation you were in because you just decided the car in front of you had problems and went around him and then got confused by the flag person's hand gestures so it really has no bearing on where you should have stopped in this case. You should basically stop when they tell you to and if you didn't understand what they were doing, then you should have let the person know so that they know that whatever hand gesture they used doesn't mean stop so they can correct themselves for next time. So basically, there isn't really a place where you should stop. You should stop when they tell you to. Usually if they have the stop sign and they are waving it at you, that means to stop where you are too, so it depends on the situation.
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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Also, if the DRL rules applied to tail-lamps, I would have been better able to determine if her vehicle was running or not.
How??? lights stay on even when engine is off?brake lights also work when engine is off??? Face it,your fail for passing a stopped vehicle,period.
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:34 PM   #19
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It was during the day. The Civic didn't have any brake lights on, and since the way DRLs work here (or should I say don't work here), there was no indication that the Civic was about to be put in motion.
DRL setup has nothing to do with anything. If the guy's engine was off, the DRLs would be off. Most vehicles, when you put them in park or apply the e-brake, the DRLs go off. Whether the taillights were wired to them would make no difference.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:23 PM   #20
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DRL setup has nothing to do with anything. If the guy's engine was off, the DRLs would be off. Most vehicles, when you put them in park or apply the e-brake, the DRLs go off. Whether the taillights were wired to them would make no difference.
Actually, if cars were required to have tail lamps on while the engine was running, the absense of illuminated tail lamps would have been a clear indication that the vehicle was in distress.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:24 PM   #21
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Face it,your fail for passing a stopped vehicle,period.
Yep, me and the three people behind me who also passed
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:30 PM   #22
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Next time you see a crossing guard holding a stop sign a block away, why don't you stop right where you are?

If you came up to a car that was stopped in the middle of the road for no apparant reason, how long do you wait until you pass?


Let's say that the driver of the Civic somehow WAS stopped 50 yards away from a three person construction area. After the flagperson stopped the Civic, he was out of view of the drivers approaching from behind the Civic. Without a visible flagperson or other signs of construction personnel, equipment, signage, etc... how are other drivers able to ascertain why the Civic was stopped?
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:15 PM   #23
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Next time you see a crossing guard holding a stop sign a block away, why don't you stop right where you are?
I do if they are motioning for me to stop. If they are just holding a stop sign and aren't doing any waving or anything, I'll keep moving up till they motion to me that I should stop where I am. Usually, they'll use hand signals or start waving their sign.

Also, as for the auto on tailights that are tied to your DRL's that you keep mentioning that car's should have, well, it wouldn't have solved your problem here cause the car that will most likely break down probably wouldn't have this yet even if they implemented it right now or last year even. To me, a clear indicator of a car in distress is the hazard lights and/or the hood being opened. As for all the other cars following you in passing that car, well, I see most drivers tend to follow the leader. I've seen two cars almost run a red light (ie. stopped but started moving forward cause the left turn light turned on). The first guy moved and the 2nd car followed and both slammed on the brakes when the first one realized that the light didn't turn green yet.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:11 PM   #24
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I do if they are motioning for me to stop. If they are just holding a stop sign and aren't doing any waving or anything, I'll keep moving up till they motion to me that I should stop where I am. Usually, they'll use hand signals or start waving their sign.
That's insane. If they wanted you to stop a block sooner, why wouldn't they just STAND a block sooner? I see them all the time, waving their signs and motioning to stop when I'm still a block away... I slow down and come to a stop by the time I'm within a dozen feet of them, none has ever showed any indication that this was the wrong way to react.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:36 PM   #25
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That's insane. If they wanted you to stop a block sooner, why wouldn't they just STAND a block sooner? I see them all the time, waving their signs and motioning to stop when I'm still a block away... I slow down and come to a stop by the time I'm within a dozen feet of them, none has ever showed any indication that this was the wrong way to react.
Mind you, I say I stop when they start waving their stop sign and stuff, but the farthest I've ever had to stop from them is about half a block away and that was because they started walking towards me after I stopped cause a truck was turning out and going up to where I was. So, what I say is true in that I do stop when they start waving the sign at me, it's just that I've never had them wave at me telling me to stop a block or more away.
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