Flashing 'Stop' signs garner notice

In our increasingly distracted and inattentive motoring lives, apparently even stop signs need help grabbing our attention.

Welcome the flashing stop sign.

The stop sign’s red octagon with white lettering is among the most recognized symbols in the world. It bears the English word “stop” even in many non- English-speaking countries. Everybody gets it. Stop means stop.

But amped-up stop signs are popping up across the country, including Kansas City. Around the sign, eight little red LED bulbs, one at each corner, flash in unison at the fairly frantic rate of once a second.

Kansas City has installed flashing stop signs at three intersections, said Dennis Gagnon, spokesman for the Public Works Department. They are typically for locations that have experienced “sign-running problems” and where new stop signs are installed, he said. At an intersection near the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the concern also is about pedestrian traffic.

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