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Are Stop Signs with White Borders Optional?

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Stop Sign

As with every long-standing practice, the traditions and rules around driving have been evolving for decades. Alongside those traditions are often myths and urban legends, dating back to unknown origin, including this gem.

Rumor has it that if you come to a “Stop” sign that has a white border around the edge, you don’t actually have to stop. It’s simply recommended. Well, the truth is, nearly every single stop sign has a white border around the edge — are you trying to tell us all stop signs are considered “optional”?

Nah. We’d like to set the records straight.

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Stop signs are stop signs, regardless of whether or not they have a white border. Anything you’ve heard to the contrary is either rumor or a joke someone else is getting a good laugh out of. If an officer pulls you over for running a stop sign, arguing that there was a “white border around the edge so it’s optional” isn’t gonna fly.

It’s unclear how rumors like these get started. It’s likely that the whole shtick started as a joke in driver’s ed that someone took a little too seriously, snowballing into a deep-seated myth of the road. Pro tip: if you see a stop sign, come to a full and complete stop in order to avoid red and blue lights followed by a lovely ticket.

For those wondering, optional stop signs do exist — they’re called “Yield” signs. The real secret, though, is that the word “gullible” isn’t even in the dictionary. Weird, right?

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