Rolls Report: Sept 26 & 27 – Great Race Madness

What a weekend we had, while Sweepstakes had a smooth Saturday, the BAA had a small showing at this year’s Highland Games with CMU’s Pittsburgh Chapter. We had a blast showing off buggy to the Scots that showed up and are definitely planning on heading back for next year’s Games. This weekend we also finally got to see the full field enter the fray as the last couple teams completed their capabilities tests.

Sunday was possibly the most chaotic day as this was the first year that rolls have happened the same day as the Great Race. Any other year, the City would have not granted permits for this day, and now we know why. With a good portion of bus routes blocked off due to the Forbes and 5th closures, many were re-routed up Schenley drive, straight through the course. Being a little shorthanded, Sweepstakes got a little help from past chairs and other alums to help ease the mess. Eventually, the routine became easier, but then rolls ended. Teams were still able to get a few rolls each, but Sweepstakes is looking to never coincide with the Great Race again.

In Attendance 

Org Saturday Sunday
AEPi  Kamikaze
Apex  Phoenix  Phoenix
CIA  Equinox, Icarus, Impulse, Orca, Ascension  Equinox, Icarus, Ascension
Fringe  Balious, X1, Beacon, Bissa  Balious, Beacon
PhiDelt  Perun  Perun
PiKA  Banshee  Banshee
SDC  Malice, Avarice  Havoc, Vice, Malice, Avarice
SigEp  Pandora  Kraken, Pandora
SigNu  Bungarus Krait
Spirit  Inviscid, Kingpin II, Zuke, Seraph  Inviscid, Kingpin II, Seraph
Robo  Transistor  Transistor

Observations (Saturday Gallery | Sunday Gallery)

  • AEPi – AEPi was out rolling Kamikaze on Sunday with some younger brothers. Hopefully a younger group of fast pushers will help see a new trend in AEPi buggy. The brothers leading the group seem to have a passion that the team hasn’t seen in years and it sounds like there could be a build in their future. Having such a gap since the last build, it seems fair to guess that they are looking for any advice that’s out there.
  • Apex – Apex had a two nice days of rolls. Still only rolling Phoenix, the ten person team looked comfortable on the course. Phoenix was not rolling incredibly fast but it is the beginning of the semester and it likely isn’t any indication that actually matters for the future but they should start having a fast push team out if they want to get the practice they need be serious this year. With only one driver so far this year (as opposed to their 5 or 6 from the last few), it’s surprising to see them still using bags, but at the same time refreshing to see them taking their time and work their way up to speed.
  • CIA – CIA may have had the fastest buggy on the course this weekend. Equinox zoomed though the chute and most of hill 3 nearly making it to the porter entrance before she was picked up by the pusher. For a second weekend of rolls, the experience shown by her veteran driver and improved tech is astonishing. The other buggies, Icarus, Orca, and Ascension, were all rolling well but without those fancy-schmancy new wheels, they were left in the dust. With PiKA returning this weekend, the large group had to once again share the Tepper ledge and work together to avoid major logistical collisions.
  • Fringe – Fringe was known for the longest time as the silent org through the chute. With the road as cracked and torn up as it was, every roll was unbelievably quiet. Now that the roads have finally been repaved, many teams have gotten nearly as hushed as Fringe used to be. The impressive thing is, Fringe somehow managed to get even more silent and now have gone into stealth mode as the glide through the turn and past the haybales. Balious unfortunately seems to have lost the fairings from last year’s raceday and has reverted to her original cardboard. We don’t normally see this reverse evolution in Fringe buggies and are puzzled as to what might be going on under the hood.
  • PhiDelt – The youngsters had another good round of rolls but Perun was rolling slowly. Sarah preferred to have a third day with bags to help her get a little more confident with her line going through the chute. The bags seemed to only be one of the ways she was slowing down as she needed a few extra pushes from a CIA flagger to get her past the monument and finally to her Hill 3 who took what might be the longest hill 3 that will happen this year. Safety will always be a good call but expect a much faster roll next weekend.
  • PiKA – Pike was able to cape this past week and made it out to rolls both days with Banshee. Just like her name suggests, she was screaming through the chute with those freshly paved roads. The mix of older mechanics and young, passionate, fast pushers seems to be great start to the season for PiKA. Keeping this momentum through the semester should rattle the cages of their competitors and position them for a great spring semester. What we haven’t seen this year is any other buggy of theirs and unless they are working on a new build, competing with just one buggy will be an incredible departure from what we’ve seen just a few years ago. While they haven’t regained their house on the Quad, PiKA has returned to a campus based house as of last year which should help them rebuild and recruit as this year progresses
  • SDC – SDC rolled out four buggies, per usual, with ample pushers both days of rolls. As a surprise to many of us, SDC has indeed built a new buggy and debuted her this fall. Havoc is an incredibly dark green and seems to be the fastest of their fleet, Avarice, Malice, and Vice. Her speed and dark color made her very easy to confuse with Malice. We would have to see their numbers to know for sure, but those are probably locked behind a titanium vault within Stever…or is it? Purely by eye, SDC also had some incredibly impressive roll-outs, definitely some of the best of the weekend, but looks to be just behind Equinox. As drivers settle in and get their lines down, we expect to see SDC, Pike and CIA battle for the best rollouts.
  • SigEp – SigEp rolled out Pandora both days and Kraken on Sunday. Saturday was a little light on the manpower, but they had a big showing on Sunday with most of their pushers being female. Kraken looks great and is rolling smooth and Pandora……sounded better than it looks but is the best buggy for training and Sophie will likely bea great driver. Keep up the practice! So far we’ve only see them bring out those two buggies, but there have been at least 3 different drivers. We’re not sure if they just had scheduling conflicts, but knowing that Pandora may not be a final buggy for some, we are watching for when they make the move to maybe Barracuda or Peregrine for more serious speed.
  • SigNu – Hey! Look who came out. After a late start to the season, it was good to see ESP rolling. Krait was rolling great for being bagged and she had no issues with hitting her mark as she made her way around the turn. The start may not feel so late, but given how last year’s Spring was cut down to 3 days, any time missed could be the difference between a spin and smooth chute turn. We hope everything goes smoothly for them as they start the year playing catch-up.
  • Spirit – Spirit has had decent rolls but not without some incidents. In the middle of rolls on Sunday, Zuke spun out in the chute and landed in the bales tail first. EMS and others were quick to be at her side, but the buggy following did not stop at the caution flag and people fled the chute until the second buggy had passed. Seeing so many stop flags, the new driver was reportedly confused and unsure of procedure having never confronted the situation before. Up by the transition, the third buggy slammed on the brakes sending her into an uncontrolled slide. Without the ability to correct her movement and continue the transition turn, she managed to find a pedestrian ramp where she slid up and onto the grass in front of Phipps. Both drivers showed no injuries and rolls continued without too much delay. Given two weekends in a row, the team is reevaluating it’s training procedures and redoubling their efforts.
  • Robo – We haven’t had a chance to talk with these guys directly, but they don’t seem to be running as early as they did last year and are getting nowhere near as many rolls as they could be. Sunday’s rolls saw them only get a single roll in the morning before human rolls began. We’re not sure if they need more light than they used to, but it would be a shame to get so little practice after having made such amazing progress over the last year.

Course happenings

Aside from the bus fiasco, the Great Race came with other challenges as all the tow trucks were in use at the same time that morning. Sweepstakes was able to get one round of cars off the road, but still one car remained, and with no truck to able to reach it, they decided to block it off with as many bright markers as they could (cones, wire reels, ect.) and roll regardless. Given how teams used to be allowed to park on Hill 5, this was likely a low risk opportunity and came with no consequence.

Rule discussion at Chairman’s

After two weekends of rolls, and as many blown stop flags, Sweepstakes is putting their foot down and instituting a new policy for this year for drivers who fail to recognize stop flags. The exact specifics are up to the discretion of the safety chair, but as of now, any driver who fails to stop more than once when given the yellow and black flag will likely be banned from Raceday for unsafe driving and inability to follow safety procedure. Blowing through and ignoring stop flags is a serious hazard and is not something to be taken lightly, particularly this early in the year as drivers remember what it’s like to drive or learn for the first time. This year looks like it has one of the largest classes of new drivers so teams should make sure they are putting in the necessary effort to properly train their drivers.

Related to this Sweepstakes held a mandatory driver’s meeting preceding the regular chairman’s meetings to stress the importance of these procedures. They also brought up the idea of a required, in-situ stop flag test where drivers would be given a stop flag while driving at semi-normal speeds. This idea has been brought up before and has been discussed at length, but with no intention of implementation. This year’s sweepstakes is looking to change that and is putting it to the drivers and the teams to decide on whether this becomes a full rule and in what capacity it gets implemented. Many questions were raised during the meeting, the discussion went long, but ultimately teams were willing to talk, and few stayed silent (which anyone who’s attended these meetings can tell you, is incredibly out of the ordinary). Notable questions raised:

  • Would this be required for all drivers?
    • Could veteran drivers be grandfathered in (i.e. the rule would only be required for new drivers)?
    • Should this instead be used as an additional penalty for drivers that fail to stop at a flag?
  • Could the drivers be bagged?
  • Should this rule come to pass, should it be that a driver’s first roll be a stop roll?
  • Would the Safety chair be required to see it for it to count (like a pass test)?
  • Were a driver to successfully stop, would she be allowed to continue and count her roll?
  • How would you handle a rear-braking reverse trike whose tendency is to spin when braking in this situation?
  • Should the driver know when it will happen?

21 thoughts on “Rolls Report: Sept 26 & 27 – Great Race Madness”

  • Big Metal Pole says:

    Sweepstakes, We need to talk. There is a Big Metal Pole right off the course that needs to be covered by hay bales every day of rolls. I’ve been complaining about this for years, and yet it never gets resolved.—Sept-27/DSC02311-September-27-2015-backup

    There has already been a crash there this year.—Sept-20/IMG_3380

    That crash could have ended up much worse if the hay bales weren’t there, and literally two weekends later they get moved down the course so that they can protect the inside of the course, 90% of the way to hill 3, where there has literally never been an accident. Now it’s fine if you want to keep that area protected just in case, but when you do so at the expense of uncovering a Big Metal Pole, where there was literally just an accident, you have your priorities wrong.

    Seriously, Ill buy you more hay bales if you need them, just cover that Big Metal Pole. Spray paint a line on the curb if you need to. Remind the people that put the bales out what happens when a buggy hits a Big Metal Pole. Use the old, “this will be the accident that ends buggy” line if you need to. Just cover that Big Metal Pole.

    • Yikes. That was a bit nauseating. Perhaps a disclaimer before watching that. Brings back some nightmares I used to have.

  • Given the ease with which most current buggies of either orientation can lose control under hard braking, throwing in full-speed stop flag tests makes about as much sense as testing a fire alarm by setting the building on fire.

    More training may help with knowing what to do – “stop before you hit something”, not “stop as fast as you can”, but the flag is only visible to a driver for under 4 seconds, and for some of that time, the flag is a tiny little dot, the driver has other things to pay attention to, or the flag may be hidden behind parts of the buggy. So there will always be a chance that the driver simply doesn’t notice it in time. The switch to a standardized stop flag helped, since multiple flags are more obvious than the color of 1 flag.

    So people needed to flee out of the way of the 2nd buggy, but didn’t take the 1st buggy with them!?
    If there’s time for a crowd to gather around a spun-out buggy, there’s time to apply common sense and roll it to the side of the road. The current “treat every accident like the most severe” policy will end up getting 2 drivers hurt in a buggy-buggy crash before it prevents 1 injured driver from being moved too soon.

    • “…throwing in full-speed stop flag tests makes about as much sense as testing a fire alarm by setting the building on fire.”

      Whaaaaat? No it isn’t. It’s like having a fire drill by asking people to leave the building. If ten people get trampled every time you try that, then you have a problem to fix. Buggies need to be able to stop, right? If a stop order ends in spinning, flipping, no attempt to stop because the driver is blind, or mechanical failure so often it can’t even be achieved in a calm and prepared test scenario, honestly, why require brakes?

      I’m going to be the person college-me would have hated, and say full speed stop tests should ABSOLUTELY be mandatory and it is sort of crazy that it isn’t required at least once in the life of the buggy. Preferably yearly, but at least once. You are right, buggies today are pretty unstable – maybe that’s a problem. There are buggies that can stably stop. There are buggies with awesome visibility. Those aren’t always the fastest ones on the course, but safety and efficiency towards the goal are constant struggles, no reason to hide from them.

    • Preach. Sweepstakes is creating more problems. Here is the proposed rule change. Alumni, your input would be appreciated before the chairmen vote.

      7.2.5 Stop Flag Test

      Each buggy driver must successfully complete at least one stop flag test during a freeroll practice session

      to be allowed to compete on Raceday. This test only has to be administered once during the driver’s

      entire driving career; veteran drivers who have completed the test in a previous year do not have to

      pass it again to qualify for the current year. Also, if a driver successfully stops at a stop flag before

      formally taking the test, this stop shall count as her requirement. The purpose of this stop flag test is to

      demonstrate that a driver has the ability to recognize a stop flag and make a controlled stop while

      making a run through the course. The procedure for the stop flag test shall be as follows:

      The test shall take place during a freeroll practice session while the driver and buggy being tested are

      freerolling on the buggy course. Arrangements to have the test observed by a qualified observer must

      be made by the organization taking the test with the Safety Chairman, or anyone designated by that

      Chairman, prior to the test.

      The test shall be conducted as follows:

       The organization’s flagger and driver to be tested will be made aware that the test is going to

      take place.

       Upon the buggy’s approach to the signal flag, the stop flag shall be displayed. The driver will

      attempt to make a controlled stop, just as she would if the caution flag was displayed during a

      normal run of the course.

       The test shall be observed by the Safety Chairman, or anyone designated by that Chairman.

      This observer shall ride in a follow car immediately behind the buggy participating in the test.

      To successfully complete the test, the following requirements must be met:

       The participating buggy must make a complete and controlled stop upon entering the signal

      flagging area, without spinning or crashing.

       The test observer must agree that the stop was adequate and controlled, based on that

      observer’s judgment and experience.

      A successful completion of the stop flag test will count towards the driver’s number of acquired rolls for

      that year. An unsuccessful completion of the test, provided that it was made known that the test would

      be taking place for that run, will not count against the driver and the organization will not have to pay

      the normal fine for running the stop flag. If a driver does run the stop flag during a normal run, in

      addition to the levied fine for the organization, that driver will need to successfully complete a new stop

      flag test in order to qualify for Raceday.

      • The factors that affect a “stop flag test” include the driver’s reaction, the driver’s weight, the buggy’s brakes, steering, and visibility. Changing any of them affects the outcome. If that’s why cape and pass tests are specific to a buggy/driver combo, then why should the stop flag test be any different?

        The stop flag is mainly useful during practice – there are far more freerolls than races and on raceday, often only the 3rd buggy in a heat is far enough behind to usefully stop. So why require it to race but not to practice?

        If the goal is to prove that the driver can recognize a stop flag, then require the stop flag test first day a new driver starts.

        If the goal is to prove that the buggy & driver can stop safely, the whole exercise is useless unless conducted at racing speeds. If the team & driver know it is coming, then they can reduce speed from the beginning. Because of the variation in buggies, you can’t set a minimum speed low enough for every buggy to make, yet high enough to be relevant to the top teams.

        “Stop flag” sounds like an order to stop. “Caution flag” sounds like a suggestion to the driver to use in deciding whether to stop or not. Pick one.

        IMO, this (and the pass test) use scarce practice time to prepare for an emergency case, and the same time could be used for training the normal case. And the fact that drivers crash while training for the normal case shows that they need all the time there they can get – is it really better to reduce the number of blown stop flags if it results in _more_ crashes?

        • I agree with everything here except the pass test not being useful (I think it’s very useful).

          It’s unclear what this rule is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to test visibility and adherence to the stop flag, Shafeeq is correct in that it should happen earlier on because you maximize the number of rolls it tests for and minimize the inconvenience to other teams that are going fast.

          If it’s trying to be some kind of super-cape or fancier brake test, which the “controlled stop” language makes it seem like, it’s the worst piece of writing I’ve seen since the pseudonym “The Guy.”

      • Former Driver says:

        It seems like the main cause for missed stop flags is a lack of training. The 4 years of drivers meetings I attended varied in the amount of coverage, and from what I’ve heard this year’s coverage was brief. We obviously can’t rely on the individual teams to train their drivers about safety, and it’s not technically a requirement that they do. However, it seems like we can’t rely on Sweepstakes to train the drivers on safety either, since realistically the majority the safety chairs have never seen what goes on in a driver’s meeting as all non-drivers are kicked out before the meeting begins. This new rule seems like an overreaction to an issue that could be more easily addressed with better training.

        • never been a driver says:

          Maybe if the Sweepstakes-organized driver meeting was delineated by the rules in great detail…. That way the constant replacement of the Sweepstakes committee would be less of an issue, since new Sweepstakes people would simply need to follow the instructions in the rules, when it came to conducting the driver meeting.
          It used to be that, coincidentally, there was always someone on Sweepstakes that used to be a driver, so Sweepstakes knowing what to do with drivers was less of an issue… but since that is no longer the case, and since non-drivers are bared from driver meetings, the issue is simply that Sweepstakes has no idea what to do, right? So get former drivers to write up an instruction manual on everything to cover during a driver meeting, and just have every years new Sweepstakes read from the manual or something.

    • Elmo Zoneball says:

      I agree that it is pointless to just test a driver, and not the driver/buggy combo.

      A few random thoughts from my old fart perspective:

      The entire raison d’etre for having brakes on the buggy is so the buggy can safely stop/avoid danger/collision while on the course. The capability test merely proves that a buggy’s brakes are capable of some minimum deceleration, measured at a speed attainable by a pusher on a level sidewalk. It doesn’t tell you if the brake system is effective and safe at chute speeds.

      My guess is most buggies today will have instability if the driver does a panic stop at speed. On trikes, if the brake is on the front wheel, and the driver has a little bit of steering input when the brakes are jammed on, the front and rear ends are likely going to want to swap positions with each other. OTOH, a rear brake buggy may not generate very good deceleration from high speeds, as the rear wheels will tend to be unloaded by the deceleration. And if the brake is asymmetric on the two wheel end of a buggy, you can expect more end swapping behavior under panic braking.

      I suspect most drivers have never done a panic stop with a buggy, and thus have no idea how it will behave under those conditions. Ideally, they should practice it a few times so they know how it reacts, and how to keep the buggy under control when they have to do it.

      Ideally, there needs to be a way to give drivers several chances to experience a panic stop in the buggy they are going to drive on race day, but it needs to be done efficiently so it doesn’t eat up enormous amounts of time that would be better spent getting more driving experience under their belts.

      The hard part: somebody is going to have to render a judgement about what constitutes a safe vs. unsafe panic brake stop. Basically, a well designed brake system is capable of stopping the vehicle rapidly from its maximum potential speed while keeping the vehicle under control. That’s means if the buggy spins out every time the driver tries to do a panic stop, the brake system (or driver!) is probably badly designed or badly implemented, and ought to be upgraded. I’m not advocating disc brakes on all wheels, but it has to be controllable.

      Flags: take a page from Auto racing. First, do NOT throw red flags (STOP NOW!) for light and transient reasons. They should only be thrown for real emergencies, such as when there is no obvious safe path through buggies that have stopped on the course. OTOH, if a buggy is just jammed into a hay bale, and the rest of the road is clear, there is no reason to red flag it….. but you should throw a “local caution” (Yellow) flag to alert trailing drivers that they must be alert to a potential danger ahead. It is always the driver’s discretion to stop/slow down if they think it is too dangerous to proceed, even if the flag is only a yellow.

      Nice but probably too difficult to do: status lights — such as old traffic lights, temporarily mounted at strategic points on FR where the driver can always see at least one of them, and each controlled by a local course worker as well as a central Safety Chairman, would be used to show:

      STEADY GREEN = Course open;





      Alternatively, use a lightweight RF device to activate red/green/yellow led displays required in every buggy.

      • If your drivers can’t recognize a stop flag, stop recruiting from CFA. You don’t want this to be the hardest test they have as a CMU undergraduate.

        I’m aware of drivers who are occasionally told not to stop so they don’t ruin their extremely expensive wheels, which is awful, so the fine could be increased to no longer make it financially advantageous to do so. However, the fact that you have to test this at all is equally awful: you should already be confident enough in the brakes such that if they attempt to stop they’ll stop, every time.

        IMO the only way to be sure a buggy is going to stop at racing speeds is to over-engineer the brakes such that it would certainly do so with a large margin of error, and then make capes stringent enough to reflect that large margin of error. None of this barely passing capes in a straight line BS (Pika). The logical end result of this is probably a large proliferation of 2 or 3 wheeled braking surfaces on symmetrical(ish) wheels or a big honking drop brake.

        Any solution that proposes a test at speed on the free roll is one of the following:
        1) inadequate (you’re not going to approach raceday speeds, and different teams have different raceday speeds anyway so you can’t test equally)
        2) dangerous (brake *tests* at anything approaching real speed sound horrible and scary)
        3) onerous (I would argue that mandating new brakes be retrofit across the vast majority of currently rolling buggies is also onerous but at least that doesn’t stop freerolls or shred up $1K worth of solvent-soaked wheels for use as a braking surface every time you want to test something)

        • McCue-

          “None of this barely passing capes in a straight line BS (Pika).” Have you even been to capes recently? PiKA is hardly the one you should be calling out. In fact, I’ve seen a team even spin out into the grass at capes. PiKA has only had one braking stop the past two seasons, and guess what – she went from speed to stop – in the chute – in a straight, controlled manner.

          Honestly I take more offense to your hilariously CMU-esque snap response of fading CFA kids.

          • Haven’t been to capes in quite some time, so I get that I’m trolling a little bit here. Historically (well before your tenure) they have not been great. I’m glad Pika is better at them, sad others aren’t, and I’ll be happy to make fun of anyone who can’t pass them without spinning. They are way too easy.

            You should be offended at the quality of the CFA joke rather than the content. I’ll do better next time. My point there was: recognizing a stop flag is truly not difficult, drivers just seem poorly incentivized to learn and adhere to them.

  • You may want to stop “drunk posting” because you really added nothing to this discussion. I think there may be a few groups that you forgot to insult in that last post. Perhaps a follow up.

    The cape test was designed to ensure the capability the buggy to stop effectively. It is designed to ensure the buggy/driver combination functions. The problem being described is not related to the effectivity of the brake mechanism.

    The problem with “recognizing” a brake flag and responding is a combination of cognitive inputs and decision making by the driver. Awareness of the brake flag is a start to closing the cognition gap, but task saturation can possibly override any level of training with regards to how a drivers sees the flag.

    The proposed rule does very little in bridging the gap of recognition of a warning signal during task saturation/tunnel vision. Foreknowledge of the pending brake flag eliminates the effective training for the driver. If she knows it’s coming, she’s looking for it and is not driving the same way as on a typical freeroll/raceday. Namely, we want a driver to brake whenever they see that flag.

    I would propose to use the brake flag for all capes and drop tests to connect the visual input of the brake flag to the driver. See the flag, brake. Always. If the org doesn’t bring those tools to the cape or the drop test, no pass. The idea is that, even subconsciously, the driver would see the brake flag and initiate braking. The org flag or a notebook or a t-shirt should never be allowed to induce braking. Oh, and the brake flag should be standard for all groups. Combine that with written driver requirements, reviewed at drivers meetings.

    • It’s a long year; I’ll get to everyone else.

      Contribution: I believe standardizing stop flags has been going on since Andrew Hundt proposed it in 2009. They are used for capes almost always (if not always).

      There are two problems being discussed as I understand it: people not stopping for stop flags and the brakes themselves being unreliable or uncontrollable at those speeds. It is hard to imagine a stop flag being more recognizable without it actually emitting light or noise. Regardless, as you said, you can’t really test for it if you know it’s coming. If you don’t know it’s coming, stopping for them is dangerous and wasteful. That’s one reason why it doesn’t always happen currently.

      My (kind of tongue in cheek) suggestion for fixing people not stopping for stop flags was to increase the fine to incentivize stop flag education within teams. The other issue, which is that most buggies are unable to stop in a controlled way at speed, is the bigger problem here by a lot. This is pretty easily demonstrated whenever someone has to do it, particularly teams that barely pass capes or drops. My suggestion here would be to make brake requirements much more strict.

      • How did we ever standardize on the stop flag we have instead of the one that drivers have been trained since childhood to recognize as STOP? Yeah, there’s a couple stop signs on the course, but they could easily be covered with a garbage bag if that was a concern.

        • This has actually been talked about as a change for the stop flag. Then again, this discussion is more about a caution flag (which is currently called a stop flag) than an full stop flag. i.e. we are really good at recognizing STOP signs, but our inclination is to freak out and stop if we realize it late which is why we have this problem in the first place where drivers slam on the brakes to stop rather than slow down and proceed with caution.

          • Using a sign that stays STOP but means “caution” seems like a perfect case of mixed signals.
            If it really means “caution” then I have no problem with drivers ignoring it — unless the leading buggy is blocking the following buggy’s line, the following driver might as well do what she’s practiced at and drive normally. Depending on the buggy & driver, that may be safer than trying to slow down or stop, which aren’t practiced.

    • Before we start changing the rules, what are the most common causes of missed stop flags? I’ve driven, and I’ve had to stop at stop flags. I don’t think the issue is that the stop flag is hard to recognize. Do we have data to suggest that drivers aren’t stopping at the current flag because they aren’t able to recognize the current flag even after being instructed to stop if they saw a yellow flag with a black X?

      • There are other things in the rules that should be changed and clarified first that are known issues.

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