Ask a Trooper: Service vehicles must use flashing lights

Published 8:06 am Friday, March 15, 2019

Question: What is the law about pickup trucks with the flashing amber lights? I noticed some of them traveling down the road when they are not actively plowing.  Also, is there a law against plowing or blowing snow onto a public road?

Answer: Minnesota state law says that a service vehicle shall not display a lighted lamp when traveling on the highway or at any other time except at the scene of a disabled vehicle or while conducting snow removal or road maintenance.

Any service vehicle may be equipped with a type of flashing amber lamp that is approved by the commissioner of public safety. Remember that other traffic on the main roadway will have the right of way, so be sure to pay attention and use due care.

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Activities such as plowing, blowing or shoveling snow onto public roads is prohibited. This includes the ditch and right-of-way area along the roads.

Civil penalties may apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard, such as a slippery area, frozen rut or bump that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. The civil liability can extend to both the property owner and the person who placed the snow.

Please remember to help local fire departments by making a path and clearing snow around a fire hydrant when it is on or close to your property.

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.