April 19, 2010

Minnesota Red Light Law

Bicyclists allowed to stop and proceed through red light under limited circumstances.

CHAPTER 232--H.F.No. 2616

An act relating to traffic regulations; allowing bicyclist to stop and proceed
through red light under limited circumstances;amending Minnesota Statutes
2008, section 169.06, subdivision 9.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 169.06, subdivision 9, is amended to read:
Subd. 9. Affirmative defense relating to unchanging traffic-control signal.
(a) A person operating a bicycle or motorcycle who violates subdivision 4 by entering
or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light has an
affirmative defense to that charge if the person establishes all of the following conditions:
(1) the bicycle or motorcycle has been brought to a complete stop;
(2) the traffic-control signal continues to show a red light for an unreasonable time;
(3) the traffic-control signal is apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed or
engineered to change to a green light only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle,
the signal has apparently failed to detect the arrival of the bicycle or motorcycle; and
(4) no motor vehicle or person is approaching on the street or highway to be crossed
or entered or is so far away from the intersection that it does not constitute an immediate
hazard.
(b) The affirmative defense in this subdivision applies only to a violation for entering
or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light and does
not provide a defense to any other civil or criminal action.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Anybody know if this is actually happening?

3 comments:

JayPee said...

It's currently in place for motorcycles, but if you look at the statutes there are no mentions of bicycles.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169.06

Wisconsin recently made these changes, (45 second rule) nice to see MN going in that direction as well...

Randall said...

It was signed into law last week! https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_detail.php?b=Senate&f=HF2616&ssn=0&y=2010

Joseph said...

NOTE: An affirmative defense puts the burden of going forward and the burden of proof on the cyclist. Beware of the weasel words - unreasonable time, apparently malfunctioning, apparently failed, and immediate hazard. YOU, not the data and money rich State, have to prove this by a preponderance of the evidence (in Minnesota). If you can't establish what is "reasonable," you can't prove that the element was UNreasonable. The cyclist is going to need an expensive lawyer and a more expensive expert traffic engineer. Also be aware that you have no defense in a personal injury lawsuit. If you don't have an umbrella insurance policy, you had better get one (usually they are inexpensive).