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News Release

June 14, 2006

Motorists and Pedestrians urged to obey the crosswalk law


Bemidji, MN. --- Pedestrian traffic is on the rise during summer months and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) is urging motorists and pedestrians to obey the Minnesota crosswalk law, a law designed to prevent driver and pedestrian collisions.

The following key elements are provided to better understand the Minnesota Statute 2005, Chapter 169.21, the crosswalk law:

  • When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation, a driver must stop when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. In this type of situation, a driver can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of the stopped vehicle.
  • When a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
  • A pedestrian must not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching. There is no defined distance but the pedestrian must use common safety sense. The law states: "No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield."
  • At crossings with traffic control signals, pedestrians shall be subject to obey the traffic signals.
  • Pedestrians crossing a roadway at a point other than within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk shall yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway.
  • Pedestrians or a person in a wheelchair using the shoulder of the road shall walk or move along the left side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic. Where sidewalks are provided and accessible and usable it shall be unlawful for a pedestrian or person in a wheelchair to use the roadway.

Mn/DOT urges all drivers and pedestrians to exercise due caution to avoid collisions. Pedestrians and bicyclists are also urged to wear reflective clothing, or reflective arm and leg bands during low light situations or when using the road shoulders.

For more information on pedestrian safety, log on to


Karen Bedeau
Public Affairs Coordinator

District 2
Bemidji / Crookston
3920 Highway 2 West
Bemidji, MN 56601
Tel: 218/755-3800
Fax: 218/755-2028
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