MN Safety Laws

Some of the most important information that drivers must process comes by way of road signs and safety laws, which are the so important to the actual act of driving. Not only do they direct your actions, but also your movements and guide you towards safety to ensure you make it to your destination in one piece.

All the safety laws in place in MINNESOTA are there to protect you and other drivers on the road with you, while each and every road sign has a place in your driving as well. Without these key elements to your driving, you could end up in a collision, with serious penalties imposed to drivers that fail to follow these laws and signs in traffic.

Road and Traffic Signs and Signals

All the road signs you must follow as a driver in the state are found within your driver’s handbook, illustrated so you can point them out on the roadways as well. You can get this handbook online or in the DMV location near you, giving you the chance to study these signs and signals used so you can follow them while driving.

Helmet Safety Laws

·         Motorcyclists: All motorcyclists should wear a helmet at all times when operating a motor bike, regardless whether you are going down the street or across town, riding in gravel or riding on the street.

·         Bicyclists: Any person who rides a bike on the roadways should also utilize a safety helmet to ensure that if a collision is met, there is safety to the rider, protecting from head injuries that could cost a life.

Motorcyclists and bicyclists are at a disadvantage while riding on public roadways. While drivers of vehicles have seatbelts, the only protection a motorcycle or bike rider has is the helmet. It is likely that with collision these riders will be propelled onto the pavement, which could cause serious head injury without the helmet.

Headlight Safety Laws

·         Motorcyclists: Headlights on a motorbike should be used at all times of both the day and night to ensure that other motorists are able to see them clearly.

·         Bicyclists: If you are riding a bike during the night time, you are required to utilize a headlight with a beam that extends at least 500 feet in front.

·         Vehicle motorists: Between the hours of dusk and dawn, headlights should be in use at all times, as well as during times when the weather requires that windshield wipers are in use.

As the sun goes down during dusk, everything around you gets a grey hue, making things more indistinguishable and road obstacles difficult to avoid. At the same time, those shadows from the sun’s light are disappearing, affecting your depth perception. With headlights, however, your vision is better suited for the driving task at hand.

Cell Use/Texting While Driving

Not all states impose a restriction against driving while talking on the phone or texting, but all states consider this a very improper and unsafe practice, which you shouldn’t do. There are hands-free devices out there that can ensure that you aren’t putting your safety at risk by taking that call, while texting should be avoided as it decreases your concentration and attention to the road.

Child Restraint Systems/Carrier Safety Laws

·         Any child 4 or younger or 40 lbs. or under must be restrained within a vehicle restraint system that has passed federal guidelines, ensuring that your children remain safe.

·         Infant car seats should always face the rear of the vehicle, and no child should be seated in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The airbags that deploy during a collision could be more dangerous to a child than the collision itself.

·         Any child between the ages of 4 and 8 should be situated within a secure booster seat if a child car seat is no longer sufficient for the child.

·         All child passengers should remain in a seatbelt at all times, and for more safety should be seated in the rear seats of the vehicle at all times.

You can shop for a new car seat online, giving you the chance to view several models that are federally approved for your children.

Reporting a Dangerous or Drunken Driver

It is not your responsibility to monitor other drivers, but when you see a dangerous or drunken driver, it is difficult not to notice them. While you aren’t required to report these drivers by law, you should ask yourself “Do I want to drive on the roadways with this driver, or do I want my loved ones to drive on the roads with this driver?” – your answer is going to be no, indicating that a call to the police isn’t a bad idea.

Be sure to note the following things so you can provide the best description to law enforcement so this driver can be caught:

·         Vehicle make and model

·         Vehicle tag number

·         Location of the driver at the time you see them

·         Direction the driver is driving

Always remember, you should never stop the driver yourself. You don’t have the right or the manpower to do so.

Kids or Pets Left in Vehicles Alone

Times have changed so much and no longer allow parents and pet owners to keep their children and pets in vehicles as they run into the store as it has been proven to be quite dangerous—and even fatal. If you see a child in a vehicle without their parent near the vehicle, and suspect that they could be in danger, contact 911 immediately.

Pets are no different and if you find a pet in a vehicle without the owner around, be sure to call 911 or the local Animal Control.