I had no idea that there was a special "red-light" law for motorcycles in Minnesota, did you?

Sgt. Troy Christianson from the Minnesota State Patrol explains, "Minnesota law does address motorcycles, bicycles, and mopeds that are not detected by control systems at traffic lights. When a signal change does not occur, the law gives motorcyclists, bicyclists, and moped riders the option to proceed through the intersection after a reasonable amount of time. "

He said these five conditions must be met in order to proceed:

  • The motorcycle, bicycle or moped has come to a complete stop.
  • The traffic-control signal remains red for an unreasonable time.
  • The traffic-control signal is apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed to change to a green light only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle, the signal has apparently failed to detect the motorcycle, bicycle or moped.
  • No vehicle or person is approaching the roadway to be crossed or entered.
  • Approaching vehicles or persons are so distant that they do not constitute an immediate hazard.

Christianson also said the law provides an affirmative legal defense to this action. The affirmative defense applies only to an alleged violation for entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light. It does not provide a defense to any other civil or criminal action.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws you can email Trooper Troy at troy.christianson@state.mn.us