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ASK A TROOPER: Shedding light on intersection gridlock law

Question: There is some confusion about that new intersection gridlock law on how it affects left-turning vehicles. 

Answer: We have been trying to get this information out there as quickly and as accurately as possible. The intersection gridlock law became effective Jan. 1. There was some misinformation when it first came out in reference to how it pertains to left-turning vehicles because it takes some time to get an actual copy of the law. 

In part, the law states that, “A driver of a vehicle shall not enter an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal until the driver is able to move the vehicle immediately, continuously and completely through the intersection without impeding or blocking the subsequent movement of cross traffic.” (Portion of statute was used with permission of the Office of The Revisor of Statutes.)

It is important to know that some of the confusion may be cleared up by looking at a couple of the exemptions: This law does not apply to vehicles that are following the direction of a police officer who is directing traffic or when making a left turn when permitted by law that allows the vehicle to safely leave the intersection. Thus, left turns are exempt, of course, unless you get stuck there and are now blocking traffic, meaning you would still be in violation of this new law.

If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, send questions to “Ask a Trooper,” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, Minnesota State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN 56401 or e-mail questions to