Arkansas Anchor Tells Us We’ve Been Doing Grocery Store Checkout Dividers Wrong

By Kevin Eck 

KAIT chief meteorologist Ryan Vaughan stirred up a bit of social media controversy after telling people we’ve been doing it wrong when it comes to those plastic dividers we put on the conveyer belt while waiting in the supermarket check out line.

Vaughn wrote about it on his Facebook page, saying “I’m at the store tonight and noticed some of you don’t know how to use the divider. You need to put it long ways to trip the sensor and keep a distance. Some of y’all use it as a privacy fence..”

He also posted two photos showing the divider in what he said was the “right” way, sitting longways and also showing it the “wrong” way, laying horizontally.


The post has gone viral, so much so it was reported by Newsweek. As of this writing his post has received 12,000 comments and over 20,000 likes.

One commenter disagreed with Vaughn, writing, “Actually no, which is why it fits perfectly sideways not longways.” While another kinda sorta agreed, writing, “Interesting. As a cashier, the ‘wrong’ photo doesn’t stop the belt… I prefer a small diagonal, doesn’t need to be so ‘right’ pictured… but a little does block the sensor.”

According to Reddit, there is a light sensor at the end of the belt and when an item breaks the beam, the belt stops moving. Cashiers can turn it off too when not busy.