Ask A Trooper: Defining a stop

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

By Troy Christianson

Question: Hello, maybe you can clear this up for me: what is the definition of stop? I think a slight pause is good enough. I look at it as I am stopping, but everything is clear so I can proceed.

Answer: To answer your question, it is called a “stop sign” not a “stopping sign.”

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According to Minnesota State Statute, the definition of “stop” means complete cessation from movement.

“Stopping” means any halting even momentarily of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control sign or signal.

Look twice at intersections when turning and changing lanes. Drive smart and pay attention.

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 at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at,