Suburban Police Install Creative Addition to Stop Sign to Help Enforce Law

The add-on sign points to the main sign and says "This Is A Stop Sign"

hanover park stop sign
Robert Zoetmulder

Police in suburban Hanover Park installed a creative addition to a stop sign in the village to encourage people to follow the law and make a complete stop at the dangerous intersection.

Underneath the actual stop sign at the three-way intersection at Walnut Avenue and Longmeadow Lane is another red sign that says "This Is A Stop Sign." Above the words is a big white arrow pointing to main sign.

"We feel like this is a good way to draw attention to an issue that is commonly recurring," said Hanover Park Deputy Chief Andy Johnson. "It's one of the most common complaints we get from our residents."

Johnson said the three-way intersection was chosen to test out the new sign because it receives more complaints than any other.

There is one other stop sign with the add-on sign, but it is on private property, Johnson said. Since the first sign was installed at Walnut and Longmeadow last week, the police department has received calls requesting more signs at other intersections.

Although the department's intent with the signs is to encourage people to obey the law, they do not comply with national standards for traffic signs, according to IDOT. Guy Tridgell, a spokesperson for IDOT, says the department will look into the Hanover Park stop sign further before asking them to take it down.

"The Federal Highway Administration mandates the proper use of traffic control devices through its Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)," Tridgell said. "The MUTCD is the national standard for traffic control devices that applies to all public roads, the key objective being uniformity and consistency so drivers receive the same message regardless of where they are driving, further ensuring safe and efficient travel." 

Stop signs can be supplemented with other signs, but not necessarily the one in Hanover Park, Tridgell said. Examples of add-on signs that comply with the rules include "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop" and "All-Way." 

The police department will most likely take down their signs soon, according to Johnson. "We certainly weren't trying to stir up anything with IDOT," he said.

Despite the signs' failure to comply with federal standards, the reaction from residents has been mostly positive so far, Johnson said.

"On almost any street in almost any town, there are going to be complaints about people going too fast or going through a stop sign," Johnson said. "There's only so much speeding tickets can do."

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