walkinginfo.org -> part of the pedestrian and bicycle information center

print page Print Page

Exit Print Page and Return to Advanced Stop Lines

Advanced Stop Lines:
Sketch by Michael Kimelberg

At signalized intersections and midblock crossings, the vehicle stop line can be moved farther back from the pedestrian crosswalk for an improved factor of safety and for improved visibility of pedestrians. In some places, the stop line has been moved back by 4.6 to 9.1 m (15 to 30 ft) relative to the marked crosswalk with considerable safety benefits for pedestrians. One study found that use of a “Stop Here For Pedestrians” sign alone reduced conflicts between drivers and pedestrians by 67 percent. With the addition of an advanced stop line, this type of conflict was reduced by 90 percent compared to baseline levels.8

The advanced stop lines allow pedestrians and drivers to have a clearer view of each other and more time in which to assess each other’s intentions. The effectiveness of this tool depends upon whether motorists are likely to obey the stop line, which varies from place to place.

Advanced stop lines are also applicable for non-signalized crosswalks on multi-lane roads to ensure that drivers in all lanes have a clear view of a crossing pedestrian.

Photo by Cara Seiderman
Advanced stop lines are used at this signalized crossing to improve sight distances and to give the motorist who initially fails to see the crosswalk more time to stop. The bicyclist can advance ahead, which aids in bicyclist safety, particularly with right-turning motorists.

• Improve visibility of pedestrians to motorists.
• Allow pedestrians to advance in a crosswalk before motor vehicles turn.
top of page

• Effectiveness depends on motorist compliance with the marked stop line.
• If placed too far in advance of the crosswalk, motorists may ignore the line.
• In some locations, a wider crosswalk may be an effective alternative.
top of page

  Estimated Cost
There is no extra cost when the recessed stop line is installed on new paving or as part of repaving projects. A STOP HERE sign can be used to supplement the recessed stop line.
top of page