Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Stop Lines in Increasing the Safety of Stop-Controlled Intersections

Principal Investigator:

John Hourdos, Director, MN Traffic Observatory, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Gary Davis, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project Summary:

Stop controlled intersections are the most common of road geometries. The Stop sign is the most common, clear, and important traffic control. For example, the current MUTCD states that a Stop sign is warranted if the combined vehicular volume is greater than just 300 vph or there is high pedestrian volume. The Stop sign could also be the most violated, causing crashes amongst vehicles and between vehicles and pedestrians. Contrary to traffic lights or other control devices, drivers have a spectrum of stopping behaviors on Stop signs; full stop, short stop, rolling stop, etc. Accompanying the Stop sign in some cases there are Stop Lines. According to the MNMUTCD, Stop Lines are optional on Stop controlled intersections, while research on the effect Stop Lines have on driver behavior is practically non-existent. Regardless, citizens when encountered by intersections where violations of the Stop sign are frequent, often request for the installation of a Stop Line. As described in NS458, although installing a Stop Line is not a big expense, maintaining thousands of Stop Lines just in the City of Edina is a major effort, given that in Minnesota, traditional paint lane markings don't last longer than a couple of years. The proposed project will attempt to conduct a two-pronged study: (1) a statistical study to estimate crash reduction effect of Stop Lines and (2) a field study of driver behavior at locations with and without Stop Lines in order to test hypotheses concerning driver response. The field observations will fuel a matched case-control study to determine, among other factors, the role of Stop Lines in promoting safer driving behavior.


Project Details:

  • Start date: 09/2017
  • Project Status: Active
  • Research Area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Safety, Traffic operations