This Twitch Stream Has Turned Bad Driving Into a Spectator Sport

·2 min read
Photo credit: stopsigncam on Twitch
Photo credit: stopsigncam on Twitch

From Road & Track

We've all rolled through a stop sign before. It's not good driving, it's not legal, and it's not a great idea. But it happens. Just, hopefully not as much as it does at this intersection in Salem, Massachusetts. Because after noticing how few cars stop at it, someone set up a Twitch stream that's turned this bad driving into a spectator sport.

According to the stopsigncam's tracker, 98.73 percent of people don't fully stop at this stop sign. That's tracked by an army of followers in Twitch chat, who use in-chat functions like !roller or !zoomer to tag each car that rolls by. !Color keeps track of the spectrum of cars flying through this intersection, while mods moderate the chat.

And it can get wild. The stream, which I became aware of through a viral TikTok, had over 4000 concurrent viewers at the time of posting. More than 44,000 people follow this account dedicated solely to this stop sign in Massachusetts. That sounds absurd, but that audience size is what makes it entertaining. The energy, play-by-play analysis, and unpredictability of a proper sport are all there, just with no real stakes or awareness by the competitors that they're playing.

So the audience goes nuts when, for instance, someone stops without any cross traffic to "!force" them to. Rare cars, colors, and modifications are also called out, with a choose-your-package-service chat debate prompted by an Amazon shipping truck. The most exciting part, though, is when fans actually show up at the stop sign to "stream snipe" the camera. In just a few minutes, I saw one person dancing on the stop sign, one couple blowing bubbles as they drove by, and a red-haired man on camera simultaneously typing "I'M THE GINGER" in chat. Based on his proximity to the bubble-blowing couple, chat suggested he challenge them to a dance battle. Or, as they often suggest, do a Fortnite dance.

So there are dedicated fans, rituals, and symbols all associated with this stream. There's analysis and unpredictability, with crazy fan behavior only adding to the on-road drama. And there's a huge community around it watching, waiting for the next !zoomer or !biker. Sure, you could catch a highlight reel on YouTube or TikTok, but the beauty of this sport is the game's always on.

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