This sign in the UAE is commonly interpreted to mean take a look and if there are no cars coming, proceed.
While any written documentation is scarce, enquiries with the representatives of the Fujairah Police and the main driving school, support this interpretation.
But this is to treat the STOP sign as a GIVE WAY sign and thus make the latter redundant.
According to the dictionary STOP means:
+to move no longer
+to cease to move
+to come to a halt
+to put an end to any motion
+to cease to go forward
Drivers around the world will interpret road signs as they will. Even in Canada, Audrey Laugher observes that GIVE WAY means:
+Go like hell
+You can make it
Let Stop Mean Stop
One way to cut down on accidents and save lives in the UAE is to make the STOP sign mean Stop (come to a standstill) and GIVE WAY mean stop if someone else is coming but otherwise proceed.
Failing to stop at a STOP sign should incur as harsh a penalty as running a red light.
Some education and then stationing police near STOP signs for a few weeks would soon get the message across.
Saving Lives Not Semantics
This is not about semantics or merely being faithful to international signage. Supremely it is about saving lives which must be a priority in a country that has one of the highest road fatality rates in the world.
What Does This Sign Mean in the UAE? ETE, 19 March 2007.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: “These Signs Properly Observed in the UAE Could Save Lives.”