The Northbrook Police Department frequently receives phone calls and emails related to traffic concerns. Such complaints might be drivers who repeatedly disobey a stop sign, fail to slow down in school zones, or routinely speed at a particular location.
Each complaint will be evaluated and the appropriate manner in which to address the outlined concerns are at the Northbrook Police Department’s discretion. The Department utilizes a variety of tactics to address traffic safety concerns, some of which are not always obvious to the public. The Department’s goal is to educate the public, apply appropriate enforcement and gain compliance in order to increase safety throughout our community as a whole.
All traffic signs and regulations must conform to Federal and State laws and guidelines. Any requests for the addition or modification of traffic signs may be considered if engineering judgment indicates that modification is warranted by the Village of Northbrook. The Village of Northbrook cannot solely make the determination to install signage, and public opinion cannot dictate modifications. Additional information regarding signage can be found here. (We will have a separate platform explaining Stop Sign requests, see verbiage below).
Stop Sign Requests
The Village of Northbrook frequently receives phone calls from residents requesting a stop sign be installed in their neighborhood. Stop signs can only be installed when an engineering study provides justification for the stop sign. The Village of Northbrook is required by State law to comply with the guidelines of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) when warranting stop signs.
Effects of Unwarranted Stop Sign
- Compliance is poor at unwarranted stop signs with drivers seeing little reason to stop and yield the right-of-way when there is no traffic on the minor street.
- Overuse of stop signs reduce their effectiveness resulting in drivers actually speeding up between signs rather than slowing down. Stop signs should be used to reduce the likelihood of vehicle conflicts, not to reduce the speed of vehicles.
- Creates unnecessary delay for drivers
- Studies have found that pedestrian safety, particularly small children, is DECREASED at unwarranted stop sign locations.
- Traffic safety may actually be impaired, causing an increase in rear-end accidents.
Justifications for a Stop Sign
A stop sign may be considered if engineering judgment indicates that one or more of the following conditions exist:
- Intersection of a less important road with a main road where application of the normal right-of-way rule would not be expected to provide reasonable compliance with the law.
- Street entering a through highway or street
- Un-signalized intersection in a signalized area
- Restricted view or crash records indicate a need for control by the stop sign
The Village of Northbrook cannot solely make the determination to install a stop sign. Despite preconceived opinions on traffic control, public opinion cannot dictate the installation of a stop sign. If you would like to make a report about a traffic related concern, please complete the Northbrook Police Department Traffic Complaint form (place link here)
Additional stop sign information can be found here.