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Can drivers use shoulder to accelerate?

Question: Is it legal when coming off a side road onto a highway to use the shoulder as an accelerating lane to pick up speed before merging with highway traffic?

Answer: No. There are some designated lanes for that, but they are not shoulders. They are "special use" lanes and will be marked accordingly. Official signs may be erected directing slow-moving traffic to use a designated lane or allocating specified lanes to traffic moving in the same direction, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such sign.

For those wanting to enter or cross, note: 169.18 Driving Rules Subd. 3. Through highway; stop sign.

(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop as required by this chapter at the entrance to a through highway and shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles which have entered the intersection from the through highway or which are approaching so closely on the through highway as to constitute an immediate hazard, but the driver having so yielded may proceed, and the drivers of all other vehicles approaching the intersection on the through highway shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicles so proceeding into or across the through highway.

(b) The driver of a vehicle shall likewise stop in obedience to a stop sign, as required herein, at an intersection where a stop sign is erected at one or more entrances thereto although not a part of a through highway, and shall proceed cautiously, yielding to vehicles not so obliged to stop which are within the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, but may then proceed.

Subd. 4.Vehicle entering roadway. The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a roadway from any place other than a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway to be entered or crossed.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota, please send your questions to: Trooper Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Or reach me at