Failing to stop at stop sign, light may result in hefty fine

Published 7:33 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

By 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.

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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.

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