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2007 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute section. Also view the most recent published version.

169.18 DRIVING RULES.
    Subdivision 1. Keep to the right. Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be
driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
(1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under
the rules governing such movement;
(2) when the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair;
(3) upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable
thereon;
(4) upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic as a one-way roadway; or
(5) as necessary to comply with subdivision 11 when approaching an authorized emergency
vehicle parked or stopped on the roadway.
    Subd. 2. Meeting. Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions, shall pass each
other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each
direction each driver shall give to the other at least one-half of the main traveled portion of
the roadway, as nearly as possible.
    Subd. 3. Passing. The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles
proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions, and special rules
hereinafter stated:
(1) the driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction
shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the
roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle;
(2) except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken
vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible warning, and
shall not increase the speed of the overtaken vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking
vehicle; and
(3) the operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the
same direction on the roadway shall leave a safe distance, but in no case less than three feet
clearance, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain clearance until safely past
the overtaken bicycle or individual.
    Subd. 4. Passing on the right. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right
of another vehicle only upon the following conditions:
(1) when the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
(2) upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles of
sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction;
(3) upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction
of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more
lines of moving vehicles;
(4) when the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only
under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made
by driving onto the shoulder, whether paved or unpaved, or off the pavement or main-traveled
portion of the roadway.
    Subd. 5. Driving left of roadway center; exception. (a) No vehicle shall be driven to the
left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the
same direction unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient
distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering
with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle
overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to the right-hand side of the roadway
before coming within 100 feet of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
(b) Except on a one-way roadway or as provided in paragraph (c), no vehicle shall, in
overtaking and passing another vehicle or at any other time, be driven to the left half of the
roadway under the following conditions:
(1) when approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver's
view along the highway is obstructed within a distance of 700 feet;
(2) when approaching within 100 feet of any underpass or tunnel, railroad grade crossing,
intersection within a city, or intersection outside of a city if the presence of the intersection is
marked by warning signs; or
(3) where official signs are in place prohibiting passing, or a distinctive centerline is marked,
which distinctive line also so prohibits passing, as declared in the Manual on Uniform Traffic
Control Devices adopted by the commissioner.
(c) Paragraph (b) does not apply to a self-propelled or towed implement of husbandry that (1)
is escorted at the front by a registered motor vehicle that is displaying vehicular hazard warning
lights visible to the front and rear in normal sunlight, and (2) does not extend into the left half of
the roadway to any greater extent than made necessary by the total width of the right half of the
roadway together with any adjacent shoulder that is suitable for travel.
(d) Paragraph (b) does not apply to a self-propelled or towed implement of husbandry that
is operated to the left half of the roadway if such operation is not to a greater extent than is
necessary to avoid collision with a parked vehicle, sign, or other stationary object located on
the highway right-of-way.
    Subd. 6. One-way traffic. (a) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic
as a one-way roadway, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated;
(b) A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven only to the right of such
island.
    Subd. 7. Laned highway. When any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly
marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent herewith, shall
apply:
(a) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall
not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can
be made with safety.
(b) Upon a roadway which is not a one-way roadway and which is divided into three lanes, a
vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle
where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance,
or in preparation for a left turn or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to
traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding, and is signposted to give notice of such
allocation. The left lane of a three-lane roadway which is not a one-way roadway shall not be used
for overtaking and passing another vehicle.
(c) Official signs may be erected directing slow-moving traffic to use a designated lane or
allocating specified lanes to traffic moving in the same direction, and drivers of vehicles shall
obey the directions of every such sign.
(d) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway, any person operating a
motor vehicle on such roadway shall not drive in the bicycle lane except to park where parking is
permitted, to enter or leave the highway, or to prepare for a turn as provided in section 169.19,
subdivision 1
.
    Subd. 8. Following vehicle too closely. (a) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow
another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of
such vehicles and the traffic upon and the conditions of the highway.
(b) The driver of any motor vehicle drawing another vehicle, or the driver of any motor
truck or bus, when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residence district, shall not
follow within 500 feet of another vehicle. The provisions of this clause shall not be construed to
prevent overtaking and passing nor shall the same apply upon any lane specially designated for
use by motor trucks.
(c) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow within 500 feet of an authorized emergency
vehicle that is traveling in response to an emergency.
    Subd. 9. Divided highway; crossovers. Whenever any highway has been divided into two
or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated
dividing section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only
upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official
traffic-control devices or police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any
such dividing space, barrier section, except through an opening in such physical barrier, or
dividing section or space or at a crossover or intersection established by public authority.
    Subd. 10. Slow-moving vehicle. Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the
normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven
in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or
edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same
direction, or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, or
when a specific lane is designated and posted for a specific type of traffic.
    Subd. 11. Passing parked emergency vehicle; citation; probable cause. (a) When
approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights
activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having two lanes in
the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle to the lane farthest away
from the emergency vehicle, if it is possible to do so.
(b) When approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its
emergency lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway
having more than two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the
vehicle so as to leave a full lane vacant between the driver and any lane in which the emergency
vehicle is completely or partially parked or otherwise stopped, if it is possible to do so.
(c) A peace officer may issue a citation to the driver of a motor vehicle if the peace officer has
probable cause to believe that the driver has operated the vehicle in violation of this subdivision
within the four-hour period following the termination of the incident or a receipt of a report
under paragraph (d). The citation may be issued even though the violation was not committed
in the presence of the peace officer.
(d) Although probable cause may be otherwise satisfied by other evidentiary elements or
factors, probable cause is sufficient for purposes of this subdivision when the person cited is
operating the vehicle described by a member of the crew of an authorized emergency vehicle
responding to an incident in a timely report of the violation of this subdivision, which includes a
description of the vehicle used to commit the offense and the vehicle's license plate number. For
the purposes of issuance of a citation under paragraph (c), "timely" means that the report must be
made within a four-hour period following the termination of the incident.
(e) For purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b) only, the terms "authorized emergency vehicle" and
"emergency vehicle" include a towing vehicle defined in section 169.01, subdivision 52, that has
activated flashing lights authorized under section 169.64, subdivision 3, in addition to the vehicles
described in the definition for "authorized emergency vehicle" in section 169.01, subdivision 5.
History: (2720-182, 2720-183, 2720-184, 2720-185, 2720-186, 2720-187, 2720-188,
2720-189) 1937 c 464 s 32-39; 1939 c 430 s 7; 1947 c 428 s 15; 1951 c 363 s 1; 1959 c 521 s 2;
1963 c 357 s 5; 1963 c 627 s 1; 1971 c 138 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1978 c 739 s 7; 1986 c
444; 1993 c 26 s 2,3; 1993 c 187 s 4; 1995 c 72 s 1; 1996 c 456 s 20; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 2 s 42,43;
2005 c 120 s 2; 1Sp2005 c 6 art 3 s 43-45; 2006 c 212 art 1 s 9

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