Video shows drivers ignoring Vancouver stop signs

Several Vancouver drivers and cyclists have been caught on camera rolling through stop signs, even when the signs are clearly visible from the road.

At National Avenue and Quebec Street, footage shows drivers slowing down then rolling through, while others appear to speed up, not even checking the cross street to make sure it’s safe. In one clip, a pedestrian is waiting to cross the street when a car goes by without stopping.

CTV News went to Clark Drive and Adanac Street in Vancouver Tuesday and witnessed bikes zooming past the sign. Those approaching from one direction have a stop sign, while cars going the other way only need to stop when the pedestrian-controlled crossing light is activated.

But ICBC’s Joanna Linsangan says regardless of intersection layout, the rules do not change.  “A stop sign is a stop sign, and there really are no exceptions. When you see a stop sign, you must stop,” Linsangan said after viewing CTV’s videos.

“Drivers out there know full well what the rules are, but they somehow seem to rationalize bad driving behaviour.”  When they break the rules, not only are they putting themselves at risk, but they’re also putting their passengers and others out on the road in danger, she said.

According to ICBC, about one-third of all crashes happen at intersections. That number jumps to 75 % when looking at crashes specifically involving pedestrians.  Insurance claims increase premiums, so the risky habit of rolling through stops comes with a price even for those who obey.

Last week, the province’s auto insurer revealed collisions are at an all-time high in B.C.  Statistics released July 17 showed approximately 350,000 crashes were reported in 2017, or about 960 each day and 40 each hour. The numbers represent a 25 per cent increase from 2014.  The total cost of claims last year was $4.8 billion, or $13 million a day.

“There are a number of reasons why crashes have gone on the rise, but a reason that we are looking at is driving behaviour – people who simply flout the rules of the road, people who fly through stop signs, people who roll through stops, people who consider making a left-hand turn when it’s clearly a red light,” Linsangan said.

Vancouver police have already handed out more than 400 tickets this year for disobeying a stop sign, each with a fine of $167.  VPD Const. Jason Doucette said those who go straight through stop signs without slowing down are considered to be driving dangerously.  “If they come in contact with a pedestrian or a cyclist or another vehicle, there’s no turning back,” he said.  He said those walking or biking can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to their pace, and stop signs and red lights are there to keep everyone safe.

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