Minnesota's pedestrian law
Whether it's a marked crosswalk or at an intersection without a marked crosswalk, vehicles must yield to pedestrians. But pedestrians shouldn't "suddenly leave a curb" and walk or run into the street too close to a vehicle, making it "impossible for the driver to yield."

Source: Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Minnesota cities upgrade to address crosswalk danger

Alarmed by the rising number of pedestrian deaths across Minnesota, cities are turning to catchy new, high-tech ways to keep cars and pedestrians from clashing in crosswalks.

From Brooklyn Center to Becker, almost a dozen cities are melting asphalt and brightly colored plastic in distinct markings stamped into the pavement. More cities are installing countdown timers that let pedestrians know how much time they have to safely cross. And Edina is one of the few cities in the Midwest with blinking orange lights embedded in a street to catch drivers' eyes.

"In the last three to five years, there's been a tremendous amount of work done on crosswalk safety," said Wayne Houle, Edina's engineering director, adding it's spurred by more bikers and walkers using streets. "It's the trend of people getting out of their cars and walking and biking ... they're kind of demanding it."
October is historically the deadliest month of the year for pedestrians, but the urgency is even higher with 25 pedestrians killed crossing Minnesota streets so far this year -- up from 18 this time last year, putting 2012 on pace, as of Friday, to be the deadliest for pedestrians in the last five years.

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 6, 2012 - 9:43 PM

 

Safe Driving Tips for Motorists Watch for Motorcyclists

About half of all motorcycle crashes involve a collision with another vehicle. In many crashes, the driver never saw the motorcyclist — or didn't see the rider until it was too late. There are many reasons why other drivers do not see motorcyclists.

Most car drivers aren't familiar with motorcycles and don't look for them in traffic.

Motorcycle riders often wear leathers which are usually dark in color and can easily blend into the background.

Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, so they are more difficult to spot in traffic and can be hidden by other vehicles or roadside features.

Daytime headlight use does not give motorcycle riders much of an advantage anymore, due to the widespread use of daytime running lights on cars.

The smaller size and single headlight on the motorcycle make it more difficult for other drivers to judge a rider's speed and distance.

Some very good websites to get more information on motorcycle safety
www.motorcyclesafety.org
www.abatemn.org
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSktr9Yn6fA

 

SCHOOL BUS LAWS IN MINNESOTA for the safety of children

Children getting on and off the bus: When a school bus is stopped on a street or highway, or other location where signs have been erected and is displaying an extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights, the driver of a vehicle approaching the bus, from either direction, shall stop the vehicle at least 20 feet away from the bus. The vehicle driver shall not move until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing.

No person may pass or attempt to pass a school bus in a motor vehicle on the right-hand, passenger-door side of the bus when the school bus is displaying the pre-warning flashing amber signals.

Violations of either of these paragraphs is a Gross Misdemeanor

For safety sake, stop your vehicle when you see the flashing yellow lights.

 

Bicycle Safety laws

Every person operating a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle by this chapter, except in respect to those provisions in this chapter relating expressly to bicycles and in respect to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature cannot reasonably be applied to bicycles.

To read all the laws pertaining to bicycles go to www.revisor.mn.gov/statues/?id=169.22

 

Minnesota’s Ted Foss Move Over Law requires motorists on multi-lane highways to move one lane away from emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the roadway or shoulder

To put it simply:

· If you are traveling on a roadway with two of more lanes, you must keep a lane away

when passing a stopped ambulance, fire truck, or law enforcement vehicle.

· If you are not able to safely move a lane away, reduce your speed.

· If you fail to take these actions you could receive a citation.

· Ignoring this law endangers the law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency

medical personnel, and tow truck drivers who provide critical — and sometimes

lifesaving — services on Minnesota roadways.

 

Safe driving tips that everyone should adhere to every time they drive

1. If you have a child, they need to be in a car seat in the back seat of your vehicle. Most car seats are not installed properly so go down to your local police station and ask for a car seat safety check.
2. Wear a seat-belt, it is so easy and can prevent many injures, yet millions of people do not wear a seat-belt.
3. Do NOT drive if you are tired, under the influence of alcohol or taking medications that specifically say, "Do not operate heavy equipment."
4. Leave space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Riding someone's bumper is dangerous because if someone hits you from behind or the person in front of you breaks quickly you are asking for trouble.
5. There are traffic lights for reason, follow them. Running traffic lights not only put you in danger but the others around you as well.
6. Keep your headlights on at all times, having your headlights on is important because cars can see your car better.
7. Follow the speed limit, I know this is hard but there is a limit for a reason. Millions of accidents are speed related.
8. Use your directional flashers, not letting fellow drivers know where you are about to go is dangerous.
9. Make sure you are only driving, not talking on the phone, balancing your checkbook, putting on make-up, etc...
10. Pay attention to road conditions, if they are bad-don't drive.
11. Make sure you are well rested, many accidents are caused because people fall asleep behind the wheel.
12. Use your mirrors; they are there to help you navigate.
13. Traffic signs are very important but people don't always follow them. If the sign says no U-turn, do not do one!
14. Make sure you know where you are going. Often drivers who are going somewhere new are trying to read a map and drive at the same time. When you are driving, that is all you should be concentrating on.
15. Street racing is a huge no no! If you want to race go to a race track, it is not fair to endanger other drives because you want to race.
16. Use your manners when driving, aggressive drivers are more likely to be involved in or cause an accident.
17. Make sure you can see when driving, if you need glasses to drive -then use them. Please, no sunglasses on in the evening; looking cool is not worth endangering someone else's life or your own.
18. Most important, take your time and pay attention to the road. Vehicles are thousands of pounds and are capable of causing large amounts of damage.

Published by Michelle Power

 

Driving Safety Tips

Driving in Snow and Ice

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.
Don't go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared (TIPS), and that you know how to handle road conditions.
It's helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you're familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner's manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  • Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  • Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid...

  • Take your foot off the accelerator.
  • Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they're sliding right, steer right.
  • If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  • If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.
  • If your front wheels skid...
  • Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don't try to steer immediately.
  • As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in "drive" or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck...

  • Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  • Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  • Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  • Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  • Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  • Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner's manual first — it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Sources: National Safety Council, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Washington State Government Information & Services