TRC 541.401 defines a stop or stopping as completely ceasing movement. TRC 544.010 states that unless directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic-control signal, the operator of a vehicle approaching an intersection with a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.
In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at a clearly marked stop line. In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of the approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. If safety requires, the operator of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall also stop.
In Texas, we do not have a “rolling stop” allowance for stop signs. If you roll through a stop sign, you are breaking the law and will be ticketed when you are caught. Driver education students are taught that a complete stop requires the transfer of weight to the rear of the vehicle.
When a vehicle accelerates, there is a transfer of weight to the rear of the vehicle. Conversely, braking causes a transfer of weight to the front of the vehicle. When a vehicle begins the stopping action, the vehicle will shift forward with the weight transfer.
In order to make a complete stop, the vehicle must have a shift of weight to the rear tires – no shift of weight to the rear … no stop. A law enforcement officer once told me to think of it like an animal that was in motion going back on its haunches. The movement backwards creates the “stop.” Texas law does not define a stop by a certain amount of time that must be counted before moving forward, such as count to three.
Arrests (being stopped by law enforcement) pertaining to stop signs are as follows: 1. Disregard Stop Sign or 2. Failed to Stop at the Designated Stop Line. It is a violation if you come to a complete stop but you are either on or in front of the white, painted stop line. A citation issued for these offenses will result in a fine and court costs of up to $200.
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