State Department of Transportation officials are hoping a four-way stop near Laurens District High School on U.S. Highway 76 at Dial Place Road and Trinity Church Road will be at least a temporary solution to an ongoing problem.
The SCDOT installed a four-way stop at the intersection that went into use Monday morning.
“We’ve tried to eliminate potential problems by adjusting the speed limit there, but for some reason we continue to have crashes,” said SCDOT Traffic Engineer Nick Rebovich.
A high rate of right-angle or “T-bone” type crashes have occurred at the intersection, forcing the SCDOT to attempt to curb those statistics. Rebovich said as many as 20 such crashes have occurred there since 2012, including five in 2016 and two this year.
Despite signage at the intersection indicating that a four-way stop would be going into use on Monday, Rebovich said he watched several motorists on U.S. 76 “roll through” the stops in both directions.
“I saw one person turn around and come back to and take a look to make sure about what they thought they saw,” he said.
While the four-way stop is hoped to make the intersection safer for now, Rebovich said the ultimate plan is to construct a roundabout by 2020 if funding becomes available. He said the proposed roundabout would be the first one in Laurens County if it comes to fruition.
“They’re just not that common in the rural upstate, but they work just fine – everybody has to slow down, be a little patient and turn right,” Rebovich said. “We’re getting some in Anderson County now, and they’re eliminating a lot of potential crashes.”
Here is what the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles Drivers’ Handbook says about negotiating a four-way or multi-way stop:
“Four-Way Or Multi-Way Stops” The most common usage of stop signs is found at the intersection of two streets where traffic on one street must stop and traffic on the other street does not, thereby favoring the flow of traffic on the more important street. Another situation is at an intersection where all streets have stop signs. When this occurs, a sign reading “4-way” or “Multi-Way” is added to the stop signs. A motorist arriving at the intersection must yield the right of way to motorists who arrived before him, waiting his turn to enter the intersection. If two motorists arrive at the same time, if on different streets, the driver on the left should yield to the driver on the right; or if on the same street, a driver desiring to turn left should yield to the driver from the opposite direction.