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Ask a trooper: What are the laws about cars, pedestrians and crosswalks?

By Jesse Grabow - Minnesota State Trooper

Question 1: If you are taking a right turn at a light and the light is red, are you supposed to stop? I ask because my daughter and I walk everywhere, and a few times we have almost been hit by cars turning right while we had the walk signal.

Answer 1: Yes, drivers coming upon a red light and turning right must stop.

Question 2: Are you supposed to stop before a stop sign or is it legal to stop past the stop sign? I have seen a lot of people stop after into crosswalks.

Answer 2: Vehicular traffic facing a circular red signal/stop sign alone must stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain stopped until legal and safe to proceed.

Question 3: Are cars supposed to wait for you to be out of a crosswalk or can they pass if there is space for them to go by? I was already hit by a car while in a park with my daughter. I now have panic attacks when cars come close to me. So if these are legal actions, I will be even more cautious about walking.

Answer 3: Here is what Minnesota Statute says:

“Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.

“No pedestrian shall suddenly leave curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.”

If you have questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send them to Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.

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