« Ask a Trooper

"Ask a Trooper" tackles traffic questions

by Bonnie Amistadi

“ASK A TROOPER” by Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol


Question 1: If you are taking a right turn at a light and the right 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 and into cross walks.


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 standing until legal and safe to proceed through.


Question 3: Are cars supposed to wait for you to be out of a cross walk or can they pass if there is space for them to go by you. These questions are every important to me as 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 the Minnesota State Statute says about pedestrians and vehicles pertaining to crosswalks: “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 a 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 any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).