A study done by a local newspaper showed that almost 95 percent of drivers who pass through NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus run at least one stop sign per day.
Reasons for running stop signs included not seeing the bright red octagons with big, bold, white letters, being too caught up in thoughts about Zayn Malik’s upcoming album, being too busy breaking another law by texting, speeding to get to class on time and not giving a damn about road rules.
“No, I’m not afraid of getting stopped by the police,” Dunley Tarp, community member, said. “It’s not like they patrol anyway. No one’s looking.”
Nearly half of surveyed drivers also said that they consider the roads and parking lots on campus to be Davie’s version of Germany’s Autobahn, a highway that has no speed limit. Most drivers are more preoccupied with saving an extra 5 seconds, rather than not killing other people.
“Speeding and running stop signs are good ways to test your driving skills, with all the pedestrians, construction and tight corners available on this campus,” said Tarp. “I like to think I’m a NASCAR driver. Zoom, zoom.”
Yasmin Booker, junior English major, said countless drivers have nearly hit her as she used the crosswalks specifically designed for pedestrians to safely cross the street.
“You’d think that if NSU could be held liable, administration would do something about the dangerous way people drive,” she said.
“Sometimes, there are these people in vests who direct traffic, but I still almost get hit,” she said. “It’s really pointless because drivers are reckless. They would neither see the stop signs if they jumped in the road, nor will they listen to the traffic directors. I mean, they clearly aren’t afraid of hitting me and getting smacked with a lawsuit.”
In addition, all but one of the surveyed drivers confessed that they don’t know what the point of a turning signal is. Some think it helps the car turn, so they wait until after they’re already making the turn to use it, while others dispense with it completely.
Emily Pickett, waitress at a local restaurant, is a self-professed road rules and driving expert and advised other drivers to know their signals.
“Doesn’t the car, like, not turn unless you use the signal?” said Pickett. “And you’re also supposed also drive with your hazards on if you’re, like, confused or have to drive slow or something. Always, always, always use your hazard lights to show other drivers that you’re the hazard who doesn’t know where you’re going.”
“Ticket, shmicket,” said Tarp. “I won’t even go to traffic court. What are they gonna do, arrest me? Fine me? I’ll take my chances. Yolo.”
As a refresher, drivers should to come to a complete stop at all stop signs, wait at least three seconds — using this time to make sure they will not cause an accident if they continue driving — and proceed at speed that is not a multiple of 30. The “California roll,” the colloquial term for slowing down but not coming to a complete stop before rolling through a stop sign, is not legal in Florida. As if this needs spelling out, Florida is not California.
The turning signal is an ingenious and futuristic piece of technology that actually allows driver to let other drivers know where they plan on going. For example, if Driver A is planning on turning left or switching to the lane on his left, he can use his nifty, magical turning signal to communicate his intentions to his fellow drivers and avoid a terrible accident that he, and his insurance company, will likely have to pay for.
Following road rules will save Driver A money. And time. And a hospital stay. And, potentially, a lawsuit. And a bunch of other hassles. Imagine that.
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