Q&A - Right of Way at a Two Way Stop

Stop SignMy question is regarding the right of way at a regular two way stop sign. I've heard that once I have stopped at the sign, cross traffic is required to let me enter the intersection. I've never seen anyone do this.

image of two way stop

I have tried consulting the "rules of the road" but find it is not all that clear on this specific situation so I really appreciate your input here.

Right of Way

I think that you and most drivers are going to be surprised by my response. Through traffic does NOT always have the right of way.

Entering through highway

175 (1) If a vehicle that is about to enter a through highway has stopped in compliance with section 186,

(a) the driver of the vehicle must yield the right of way to traffic that has entered the intersection on the through highway or is approaching so closely on it that it constitutes an immediate hazard, and

(b) having yielded, the driver may proceed with caution.

(2) If a vehicle is entering a through highway in compliance with subsection (1), traffic approaching the intersection on the highway must yield the right of way to the entering vehicle while it is proceeding into or across the highway.

Two Way Stop Driver

Your obligation is to stop at the stop sign, look and yield to through traffic that would be an immediate hazard, then proceed with caution.

Through Road Driver

Through traffic approaching you that is not an immediate hazard to you must then yield and let you into the intersection.

Proceed With Caution!

Don't ever expect this behaviour from through traffic!

The hook here is that you may proceed with caution. If through traffic isn't going to stop then it places some onus on you to be careful of that and not insist on your right of way.

Related Information

Who Turns First at a Two Way Stop?

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Apologies for the badly drawn stop sign,

a) 1 is stopped waiting for a left turn and 2 arrives wanting to turn left. Who has the right of way?

b) Who has the right of way if there is a cross walk in front of 2 (no stop sign) but pedestrians have the hand signal at that time? I have never seen this before, but it actually exists in Richmond.

Thanks for your help.

I would say that if there's a marked crosswalk in front of Car #2, and pedestrians are facing some kind of 'Don't Walk' signal, then this can only be a flashing green (i.e. pedestrian-controlled) light on the main road.

Being as Car #1 has stopped at the line, but has not yet advanced into the intersection then they're obligated to give right of way to traffic on that main road.

IMHO any kind of pedestrian-controlled flashing green traffic light that has been erected at an intersection (rather than mid-block) is a fundamental error on the part of the traffic engineers. Whether it's a T or a 'regular' 2-Way Stop, it mostly causes confusion, with pedestrians all too often illegally walking into the unmarked crosswalk in front of the stop sign (because they're obligated to obey the red light on the main road), and very often drivers arriving at their stop sign without making any attempt to actually stop, so they never have right of way either.

 I was waiting in the position of 1 for quite a while for traffic on the through road to clear (say 10 vehicles in one direction) before 2 arrived on the scene.  Do left turning vehicles on the through road with no stop sign arriving later have priority over the vehicle on the side road stopped at a stop line?  Thanks a lot. 

It would never occur to drivers that through traffic might have to yield to a driver waiting at the stop sign as outlined at the beginning of this thread. Don't count on them to do what the law requires.

Priority is determined by who is where as explained, also at the beginning of this thread.

I'm just going through this thread again to understand this better and looking at the legislation at the start of the thread.

Is it safe to assume that if a vehicle is stopped at the stop sign, that vehicle is not meeting the requirement of "entering a through highway" stated in point 2 and therefore a left turning vehicle on the throughway gets to turn left first. If the vehicle stopped at the stop sign according to 175(1) has started moving(i.e. entering) and is anywhere in the intersection, then the traffic on the highway needs to yield. Please correct me if wrong.

The first vehicle stopped at the stop sign is about to enter the through highway.

What happens next is determined by how far away traffic on the through highway is from the intersection. If they are far enough away that it is practical to yield, then the through traffic yields and the vehicle waiting at the stop sign proceeds. If not, then the vehicle at the stop sign waits until through traffic passes by.

It does not matter if the traffic waiting at the stop sign is turning or passing straight through.

They may have to stop. 

Caveat: don't ever expect through traffic to follow this rule. Most drivers likely don't even know the rule exists.