The City of Richardson follows the rules in the Texas Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD) on the placement and use of STOP signs. STOP signs are not used to control speeds along a road. Studies have shown that STOP signs placed strictly for speed control have a much higher violation rate, and actually create increased speeds between the signs as drivers try to “make up” the lost time they incur by slowing down for them.
It has been found that drivers violate (run) STOP signs most frequently when they don’t expect to encounter traffic on the crossing street. When a driver stops at a STOP sign several times, and never sees any vehicles on the crossing street, the tendency to not come to a full STOP, and eventually not slow down at all, is very typical. This creates a much more dangerous situation than no signs, because drivers and pedestrians on the crossing street have an expectation that approaching vehicles will stop, and when they run the sign instead, collisions can occur.
The rules and guidelines for STOP sign placement in the TMUTCD are primarily based on statistical measures that try to ensure that vehicles crossing the intersection will encounter a conflicting vehicle a significant percentage of the time they go through the intersection. This requires certain volumes of vehicles on both streets for large portions of the day. Provisions are also made, however, for engineering judgment, intersection sight distance problems, intersection crash experience, and pedestrian activity.