Reflecting Sandpoint's beautiful place in the world since 1990.

STOP! and take a look

From the Summer 2020 Issue

Area stop signs offer wit and wisdom. *With slideshow*

One in town says “STOP your bellyaching.” Another advises, “STOP doing the same thing and expecting different results.”

And at Selle Road and Colburn-Culver, there is good counsel to “STOP making excuses.”

Ask Sandpoint residents what they think about the sayings that adorn local stop signs, and many will wonder what you’re talking about.

But once you spot one or two stop signs that have been augmented with various sayings, you start to notice there are dozens of quips scattered on stop signs around the town and county.

The words added to the signs are typically small stickers with white words. The individual who has taken up this quest for social commentary is unknown, but he or she has been at it a long time now.

“It’s been going on for years,” said Sandpoint Police Captain Rick Bailey. “I’ve been working law enforcement in the area for over 31 years and, recollection-wise, I’ve probably seen it going on for at least 25 years.”

To the sign writer’s credit in these divided times, there’s little political commentary. Most stick to quips or humor. “STOP eating your boogers,” says one. Another borrows a riff from a popular song with “I think it’s time we STOP children, what’s that sound….”

Humor aside, Bailey pointed out that “altering a traffic control device is unlawful. You can be charged if you are caught doing it. Even though some things are fairly humorous on there and put a smile on your face, it is against the law.”

Still, after two decades of stop sign messaging, the sign at Oak and North Ella may sum up the writer’s view.

“Nothing’s gonna STOP us now,” it declares.

-Chris Bessler

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