A stop sign is not a suggestion. It’s an absolute. They were put here on earth for a reason, to halt the driver so that they can have adequate time to assess the situation and determine if it is safe to pass through the intersection. This takes approximately three seconds, not much time in the span of a life, but enough time to figure out if the way is clear. So, tell me, is it?
You may think I am speaking in metaphors, asking you to look both ways before you cross the street as you prepare for your writing career, your publishing of your masterpiece or of general everyday life. Eh. No. I’m asking you to really stop at the stop sign and look before you head your vehicle out into oncoming traffic.
Four years ago, three days after Christmas, a young man did not stop fully at his stop sign and hit a car head on, killing the driver almost instantly. This other driver was my niece. She was 19 years old, and so was her killer.
I say that she was killed because he failed to obey what is the law and caused the events that killed her. He killed her. He pleaded guilty was let off with a fine and a 9 month suspension of his license. In my opinion, he got a finger waved at him and was called a naughty boy. If he had been drunk or drugged up, he would have gotten a heavier sentence. But he wasn’t. He was sober; he was naturally stupid.
The boy claimed he didn’t see Kathryn. He would have, if he had stopped.
I’m proposing in this article to impose the three-second rule: come to a stop sign and count to three. Even if you can clearly see that no one is coming, stop fully and count. It’s not going to take that much time out your, or anyone else’s, very busy day. Think of Kathryn for me, think of how she could have survived, she could have been living during these last four years, if only someone had just stopped for three seconds.