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Dont Mince Words

The Art of the Four-Way Stop

Posted on August 05, 2003 by Marna

If you have seen Steve Martin in “LA Story,” you’ve seen all the LA clichés come alive. Four cars. Four stop signs. All the drivers are courteous and wave each other on. There appears to be a rhythm to these intersections.

Up until today, I operated under the assumption that the first person stopped at the intersection would naturally go first and everyone else would wait their turn. That is usually the case UNLESS you encounter Scenario B which involves an IF/THEN math equation: IF a vehicle coasts through a four-way stop, THEN said vehicle has immediate right of way and that right of way supercedes the rights of the first stopped driver.

My New York horn skills combined with some Starsky and Hutch swerving resulted in me missing getting broadsided by a 1974 rust colored Chevy Impala station wagon filled with five Mexicans and two rakes. I cussed like a sailor for several minutes afterwards until my passenger told me, “Welcome to LA where traffic rules of native country supercede all logic.”

Now I understand the wave-on.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 377 Posts, 132 Comments

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