Stop signs at plaza exits

Observer135
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Stop signs at plaza exits

by: Observer135 on
Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:33 pm

I have a question regarding stop signs you see at the entrance/exit of some plazas.

Years ago, when I started to drive I was told these were stop signs on private property and HTA did not apply to them, therefor police would not issue an infraction notice if one would not obey them.

Now, I'm wondering of that is true, especially with everything I hear about bylaw infractions etc.

Can some one please shine some light on this?

Thank you


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by: Stanton on
Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:21 pm

I’d have to read through all the pertinent sections again, but I believe the only applicable section of the HTA would be 139. That section requires that you yield (but not necessarily stop) to through traffic when exiting a private drive. To the best of my recollection section 136 (the section for stop signs) does not apply to private driveways. The section covering traffic signals however does apply equally to motorists on a private drive. So in short, a red light is a red light but stop sign may only be a yield sign.

This is obviously only my interpretation of the HTA as it’s written and I’d still recommend making a full stop when signage exists. Local bylaws might still require that you obey a stop sign on private property and some larger commercial plazas have bylaws designating the roadways running through their lots as public highways where the HTA would apply. Furthermore, fault insurance rules would also still expect to stop for a stop sign on private property, so if you were in an accident you’d still be found at fault even if you couldn't be charged.


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by: Observer135 on
Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:25 pm

Thank you Stanton, learned something new and by something I mean lots...

Never knew about "larger commercial plazas" etc.

Just goes to say how misleading some old info can be, one of my coworkers who was involved in a small fender bender in a mall parking lot called police to attend and write a report (this goes back 25 years when police would show up at every little accident scene)
He was told since this was on a private property the stop sign violation was not a factor and police would not intervene unless there was personal injury as a result of the accident.

So you can see where some of my "wrong info" came from, great advice. full stop is better than getting charged, lol


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by: Decatur on
Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:51 pm

You may also have to check where the stop sign is actually posted. If it's at an exit, it may be posted close enough to the highway to be on municipal property and therefore legal.


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by: Observer135 on
Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:21 am

Decatur wrote:You may also have to check where the stop sign is actually posted. If it's at an exit, it may be posted close enough to the highway to be on municipal property and therefore legal.
That's actually what I was thinking, because I realized, the few feet of the edge of the property is actually owned by the city (easement for utility maintenance), I realized this when they posted a speed limit sign on my front lawn and looked up my survey.
So I was applying the same principal and figured that if the sign is actually on municipal property, it could have been posted by the city and not the corp. owning the plaza/mall.
But what did't make sense to me was, why they would do it on some exits and not others?
Bottom line; for me anyway, stop so you don't get in trouble, better safe than sorry, why take chances? Not worth it.

Thank you for all the inputs.


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by: Stanton on
Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:23 am

Imo it's not so much relevant on whether the stop sign is on private property or not, but rather if the location the stop sign controls could be considered a private drive. Many sections of the HTA specifically mention they apply to private drives AND intersections etc., whereas the section covering stop signs does not.


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