This is in response to the Sept. 6 letter to the editor about the stop sign on Interstate 81 south at the Exit 175 on-ramp. The writer is concerned because motorists often do not stop.
What he fails to see is that traffic regulations, while important, are less significant than the laws of physics and the desire to stay safe and alive. All the drivers are doing is trying to make up for the inadequacy of the regulation, which is arbitrary and hardly cognizant of the laws of physics – which are ultimately what make us safe or sorry.
The ramp has a sharp bend, which makes it impossible to enter the highway at the same speed as traffic. Yet, physical reality dictates that the safest way to enter an interstate highway with vehicles traveling in excess of 55 mph is at speed.
If a driver can spot a clear gap in the traffic that allows him to accelerate from 10 to 15 mph, he will be much safer than a driver who stops and then must accelerate from zero.
A large yield sign with another warning drivers to “be prepared to stop” in case there are no gaps in traffic would be far safer.