A stop sign is a regulatory sign which can cause a substantial inconvenience to motorists. The primary purpose for a stop sign is for access control and assigning right-of-way, not for controlling speeds. National standards have specific criteria (known as warrants) for the installation of a stop sign. When used correctly, a stop sign is one of the most effective traffic control devices available.
Stop signs are often requested to control speeds and/or to encourage traffic to use other routes. A stop sign is ineffective as a comprehensive speed control device. Stop signs installed without meeting proper criteria, result in high occurrence of violations and increased disrespect for traffic signs in general. Speed reduction is usually only effective in the immediate vicinity of the stop sign. Increased speeds between intersections often occur as drivers attempt to make up time lost.
Where stop signs are installed as nuisances, most drivers recognize it as an unreasonable restriction and many choose to roll through the sign or ignore it completely. Inappropriate stop signs can create a false sense of security for pedestrians and an attitude of contempt for all traffic signs.