Ask a Trooper: Rules of the road for inline skaters
Question: I was skating on Park Point the other day and was wondering about how skaters/rollerbladers should behave on the roads. I am familiar with bike laws--a bicycle is treated like any other vehicle on the road with a few exceptions. What ab...
Question: I was skating on Park Point the other day and was wondering about how skaters/rollerbladers should behave on the roads. I am familiar with bike laws-a bicycle is treated like any other vehicle on the road with a few exceptions. What about inline skates? Especially if I'm training, skating pretty fast and consistently with the flow of traffic?
Do I act like a bicycle? Or like a pedestrian on go on the other side of the road? Or just stay off the road altogether and try to stick to the sidewalk or paved paths?
Answer: With the inline marathon right around the corner and the summer months beginning, there has been an increase in rollerbladers out sharing the roads with motorists.
When on skates, you are subject to the same obligations as a bicyclist or a driver of an automobile and you must obey all traffic laws.
• Skaters may skate on all Minnesota roads, except where restricted.
• Skaters should skate on the road, and must ride in the same direction as traffic.
• Skaters should signal their turns and should skate in a predictable manner.
• Skaters should wear bright reflective type material and have on protective equipment.
• Skaters should yield to pedestrians.
• Motorists must drive at safe speeds and be attentive for skaters, bicyclists and pedestrians.
• Motorists must maintain a 3-foot clearance when passing a bicyclist or skater.
• Drivers should use caution, look twice for riders when turning, and check blind spots.
While it is not the law, I suggest all skaters wear the proper skating equipment, including a helmet.
We all need to do our part by being alert as a driver, bicyclist, jogger, or pedestrian for potential hazards, so life-changing crashes do not happen.
A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811; on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .