I thought this was completely non-controversial. We all know that a full stop is required (for bicyclists, too, by the way) by law, always, and that there is no wiggle room. Do drivers slow down? Yes, often. Do they make a full stop? Rarely.
Or rather, it completely depends on traffic — if there is conflicting traffic they do (usually) stop; otherwise RARELY. Here is a brief clip where 1 driver stopped (well, almost, but I’ll give it to him) to yield to cross-traffic, and then the next SIX rolled through without stopping:
If that’s too short for you, here is a longer clip that I didn’t even bother to count — the story is exactly the same; DRIVERS RARELY STOP AT STOP SIGNS.
For the technically curious: there is no (marked) crosswalk in this direction, nor is there a painted stop line, here is the statute regarding stop signs: §28-855.
Here’s a newer clip 48th and Guadalupe Rd, City of Phoenix: 28/30 (93%. And that’s being generous) don’t comply — note that drivers must stop BEFORE a marked crosswalk. It’s a pretty boring 3 minute video (total elapsed time ~ 6 minutes)
Why do they do it?
See Stop Sign Compliance for discussion and links to some social research studies that offer some explanations. In social research, it is referred to as an example of a “folk crime” (dubbed so apparently by H. L. Ross in 1961, see Traffic Law Violation: A Folk Crime, 8 Social Problems 232).
The more direct explanation is people (drivers and cyclists are people, after all!) act in ways that they perceive as rational and reasonable, and pay scant attention to the letter of the law.
Do drivers stop before making a Right Turn on Red?
It is the same story. Here’s a clip in case you are interested (sorry, but you’ll have to skip in about 40 seconds in order to be able to see the traffic signal). Best bet is to note at 7:22 a silver car followed immediately by 2 pickup trucks all roll through the red light without stopping.
Do bicyclists run Red Lights?
Here is an interesting published article that goes along along with the compliance theme from AAP: Riding through red lights: The rate, characteristics and risk factors of non-compliant urban commuter cyclists, via a posting at www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/motorists-front-of-judea-what-have-the-cyclists-ever-done-for-us/