Published: Oct 31, 2012 12:55 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 31, 2012 3:03 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County operations crews installed signs Tuesday with the "stop ahead" symbol eastbound and westbound on Briarcliff Road in advance of existing stop signs at the Michael G. Rippe Parkway intersection.

Both Lee County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) remind motorists to obey all rules of the road and to eliminate distractions while driving.

Law enforcement continues to patrol the area.

Florida law requires drivers to make a full stop at stop signs and not proceed with left turns, right turns, or travel through the intersection until conditions are clear. Rolling through a stop sign or disregarding it is unsafe and illegal. After a full stop, motorists and bicyclists should look left, right, then left again to be sure sufficient gaps in traffic exist before proceeding. Pedestrians also should follow this rule.

The speed limit on Michael G. Rippe Parkway is 45 mph. Drivers traveling at the posted speed are better prepared to react to roadway, traffic, and weather conditions. Excessive speed is unsafe and illegal. Distractions like texting and talking on cell phones are unsafe driver behaviors and should be avoided. All attention should be focused on driving.

The project to build the new Michael G. Rippe Parkway finishes in November, and FDOT will begin data collection at the intersection needed for traffic signal analysis in December. Results of the evaluation that determines if a traffic signal can be approved will be available by February 2013. Analysis follows federal criteria used in all 50 states. Traffic engineers also will continue to observe operation of the intersection firsthand.

The department and Lee County have prepared proactively for a signal if it is warranted. Design plans for it are completed and necessary underground components have been installed at the intersection during the construction job. If a traffic signal is approved, the department will provide signal equipment to Lee County, who has budgeted funds to install it. If a signal is not approved, the department will continue to monitor the intersection’s operation.