Debbie Duncan has this Perspective on the rules of the road.
When did making a full stop at stop signs become optional? I see cars rolling through a four-way stop in my neighborhood every day when my husband and I walk our dog. If we aren’t right at the intersection, I may quietly quote the character Dionne from the 1995 eminently quotable movie Clueless and say, “Hello, that was a stop sign?” Then I smile as I remember her friend Cher’s reply from behind the wheel, “I totally paused.” As if that makes it okay.
But if we happen to be waiting to cross the street in the yellow-painted crosswalk—yes, there is an elementary school a block away—and the driver rolls through in front of us, I will probably holler, “STOP SIGN!” That often gets their attention.
Rolling through a stop sign, which some call a “California stop” (haha) is never okay. It’s unsafe. It’s illegal. If a cop sees you, the ticket will cost you at least $238. Regarding stop signs, the California driver’s handbook is clear: “Make a full stop before entering the crosswalk or at the limit line.” The vehicle must stop moving.
Tesla ignored all this when it programmed cars testing the full self-driving feature to roll through stop signs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put the kibosh on that, requiring Tesla to recall and reprogram nearly 54,000 vehicles in early 2022.