Archived Story

‘Right turn on red’ law clarified [UPDATED]

Published 7:35am Monday, January 14, 2013 Updated 9:49am Monday, January 14, 2013

Question: I came across your article when searching for information on right turns on red in Minnesota. While this series looks very helpful, I am concerned that your advice in this particular column may have been mistaken.

You wrote: “Yes, you can make a right turn on a “red arrow” if; you make a complete stop. You can then proceed with the right turn if there are no posted signs that state “no right turn on red” and if it is safe to do so (no oncoming traffic or pedestrians with the right of way – green light). I would also like to add a reminder that when making the right turn from left lane to stay with that left lane during the entire change of course.”

I am looking at Minnesota State Statute 169.06, subd. 5 “Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal, with the intention of making a movement indicated by the arrow, must stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and must remain standing until a permissive signal indication permitting the movement indicated by the red arrow is displayed, except as follows: when an official sign has been erected permitting a turn on a red arrow signal, the vehicular traffic facing a red arrow signal indication is permitted to enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street on which traffic moves to the left, after stopping, but must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic lawfully proceeding as directed by the signal at that intersection.”

Please let me know if I am misinterpreting the law here. Thank you for your service and this column.

Answer: Thank you for bringing this to my attention, you are correct. What I wrote would apply to a “steady red signal” and not the “red arrow.” Thank you again for letting me know so I could make this correction.

A reminder — motorists must treat every corner and intersection as a crosswalk, whether it’s marked or unmarked, and drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians — it’s the law.


If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (Or reach him at,

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