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A stop sign is a traffic sign to notify drivers that they must make sure no cars are coming and slow down before proceeding.

Stop signs originated in Michigan in 1915. The first ones had black lettering on a white background and were 24 by 24 inches (61 cm ? 61 cm), somewhat smaller than the current sign. As stop signs became more widespread, a committee supported by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) met in 1922 to standardize them, and selected the octagonal shape that has been used in the United States ever since. The unique eight-sided shape of the sign allows drivers facing the back of the sign to identify that oncoming drivers have a stop sign and prevent confusion with other traffic signs. It was also chosen so that it could be identified easily at night, since the original signs were not reflective. The National Conference on Street and Highway Safety (NCSHS), a group competing with AASHTO, advocated a smaller pink-on-yellow stop sign.

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