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Ask a Trooper: Bicyclists must obey same traffic laws as motorists in Minnesota

Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

Close-up of Minnesota State Patrol trooper's squad vehicle
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Question: I really enjoy seeing these columns on Facebook and I am hoping you can shed some light on bike laws. I work and live around Glendalough State Park where there are quite a few walking/biking paths.

I have seen and been verbally accosted by those whom do not seem to "see" the stop and yield signs on such paths. Riders have blown through them and not given the right of way to the vehicle already in motion. Can you please explain the bike path signs to those who may not understand? Thank you for your time and continued service to our communities.

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
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Answer: Thank you for the question. Sharing the road is always an important topic.

Does a bicyclist have to obey the same traffic laws as a motorist? Yes, Minnesota Statute 169.222 states: “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.” This includes stop signs, stop lights, yield signs, etc.

Does a bicyclist have to dismount and walk their bike through a crosswalk? No, a bicyclist using a crosswalk does not have to dismount to cross the intersection, but in some cases this may be the safest option.

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A person lawfully operating a bicycle on a sidewalk, across a roadway or shoulder while using a crosswalk, has all of the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances. That includes not entering a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the vehicle to stop.

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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.
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