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"Ask a Trooper" talks about steering wheel size

by Bonnie Amistadi

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

 

Question: Is there a minimum size of a steering wheel in a vehicle?  There have been some teenagers with jacked up pickups installing very small (lawnmower like) steering wheels.  Curious what the law says.

 

Answer: There is no law specifically related to steering wheel size. The only issue would be if the mounting of the steering wheel is secure which could become an “unsafe equipment” violation.  This statute states; “It is unlawful and punishable as hereinafter provided for any person to drive or for the owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person.” Of course this could apply to many other equipment issues also.

 

I would like to use this opportunity to also talk about “steering wheel knobs”.  I am asked if these (often referred to as “suicide knobs”) are illegal. They are not illegal in Minnesota. If you perform a quick check on the internet about them, you will often find people claiming they are illegal. However, I believe this is one of those “car myths” that has spread most likely because of the term “suicide” which may have given a negative connotation causing people to assume they were illegal.

 

In fact, steering wheel knobs are often prescribed to people with applicable disabilities to assist them in the driving of an automobile.

 

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).