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ASK A TROOPER: Does right on red require a full stop?

Question: I do a lot of local driving for work, and every day I see many vehicles roll through stops. This happens most frequently in a "right on red" situation. I have seen many near misses by vehicles rolling through a "right on red." I was just wondering what our state law requires at stop signs/red lights.

Answer: According to the Minnesota Driver's Manual, when approaching a red light (solid or flashing) or a stop sign, motorists must come to a complete stop prior to reaching a marked limit line, entering a crosswalk, or entering the intersection itself, whichever is nearest.

At a red light, Minnesota law allows motorists to turn right after stopping completely, unless a sign indicates the turn is prohibited. Drivers must use caution and follow right-of-way rules.

At a red light, a motorist can turn left after stopping only from a one-way street onto another one-way street.

Motorcyclists and bicyclists can proceed through a red light, with caution, if:

• They made a complete stop.

• The signal continued to show red for an "unreasonable time."

• The signal apparently malfunctioned or failed to detect the bicycle or motorcycle.

• No vehicle or pedestrian was approaching or close enough so as to make going through the red signal dangerous.

Failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign or a red light can result in a fine of $300 or more.

Remember to take driving seriously, avoid all distractions and pay attention to your surroundings while operating a motor vehicle.

Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota to Trp. Jesse Grabow — Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.

Follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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