Ask a Trooper
ASK A TROOPER
By Sgt. Curt S. Mowers
Minnesota State Patrol
Question: I am still confused about the intersection gridlock law. First, I heard that you can’t go out into the intersection to make a left turn and then I heard you could. Would you please give a final verdict on this because I think there are a lot of folks that may not know what to do?
Answer: I still get a lot of questions about this, so I am glad to answer it. You can go out into the intersection on a green light to make a left turn, even if you have to wait for the oncoming traffic because left turns are exempt from the intersection gridlock law. Some drivers might be confused because when it first came out the exemption for left turns was not mentioned, leaving everyone to think they were included, when actually they are exempt. It is very difficult to straighten everyone out on something like this after they heard it wrong or incomplete the first time and have been discussing it incorrectly for a long time already.
Remember, that basically, the intersection gridlock law makes it specifically against the law to enter an intersection (at a stop light) that you can’t get all the way across because of the next light being red and the traffic backing up through the intersection. It happens in many cities and creates a lot of problems with the flow of traffic when one direction of traffic cannot continue on a green light because vehicles on the cross road are stopped and blocking the other lanes of traffic.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers MN State Patrol P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN 56401 or email questions to email@example.com with Ask A Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.