Have you ever wondered what the geometric shape of the STOP sign is? And why is this red? The stop sign has not always been like this, evolving with the times.
To keep road users safe, the STOP sign has evolved over the years to a design that draws attention more easily so that drivers can react more quickly. Here is some interesting information about the history of the stop sign.
The first stop signs were placed in Michigan in 1915, he says Manual of Traffic Signs. Initially, they were square in shape, measuring 60 cm by 60 cm and featured black letters on a yellow background.
The STOP indicator didn’t always look like it does now
The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) found several key advantages to giving the stop sign its unique octagon shape.
First, the octagonal shape allows drivers traveling in the opposite direction to recognize the sign behind it, which helps prevent confusion at intersections, according to Reader’s Digest. Second, because the original stop signs were not reflective, AASHO needed a design that could be easily recognized at night, writes Allstate.
Although the shape of the road stop sign has remained the same since the 1920s, it was not always red like the one we know today. Several revisions were made, but it was not until 1954 that Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices mandated that all stop signs be red and octagonal.
The National Conference on Street and Highway Safety has long wanted the stop sign to be red. But the materials to make a red pigmentation that would not fade were not readily available.
What rules must today’s indicators follow?
Today’s stop signs are about 2 meters off the ground in urban areas and 1.5 meters off the ground in rural locations, according to Cornell University. Stop signs are also retroreflective, meaning that if your headlights shine on them, the light will be reflected back at you.
STOP signs were very useful to prevent all kinds of sudden stops and rear or side impacts. They help drivers navigate busy intersections and encourage safe driving. Many car insurance companies reward safe driving.