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Near Miss x 2

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Near Miss x 2

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 13, 2010

I think that today will be a good day to stay off the roads. Where is my biorhythm chart?

By 10:05AM I had had two near misses on Woodstock streets. The first?

I was driving south on Clay Street and approaching Donovan Street. A westbound SUV on Donovan slowed and almost stopped for its stop sign, then started forward into the intersection. Maybe the driver of the tan Jeep Cherokee-type vehicle has never encountered a vehicle from his right there before; who knows? In any event, he did then make a full stop, and I was able to pass safely through the intersection.

And the second time? At Madison and Church Streets. Maybe just being southbound in Woodstock this morning was not the right decision. An eastbound red Chrysler SUV stopped (sort of) at the stop sign on Church at Madison. The car in front of it had stopped and then proceeded across the intersection.

The old guy (I know, I know...) in the red SUV rolled through the stop sign and then started forward into the intersection. Then he saw me and stopped. He too appeared not to have looked before starting to drive in front of me.

Moral of the story? Don't expect cross-traffic to stop, even if they have a stop sign.

Just last week I was talking with someone about St. Louis' infamous "rolling stops." Way back then, in the days of stick shift in all cars, most drivers approaching a stop sign would only slow down to about 20MPH, shift into second, and go on.

I was reminded of the California driver who did stop at a stop sign in St. Louis and was rear-ended. When he got out of his car and asked the other driver, "Why'd you hit me?", that driver (from St. Louis) asked, "Why'd you stop?"

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