Rules about ‘right on red’


From: Sgt. Troy Christianson
Minnesota State Patrol

Question: I do a lot of local driving for work, and every day I see an abundance of vehicles that 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 of us to do 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 the nearest marked white line.

Minnesota law allows motorists to make a right turn on a red light after making a complete stop, unless there’s a sign indicating the turn is prohibited. Drivers must use caution and follow right-of-way rules.

Motorcyclists and bicyclists can proceed with caution through a red light after making a complete stop, if:

• 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.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, Minn., 55901-5848; or you may reach him at


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