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Ask a Trooper: Stay clear of closed roads

Question: What is the penalty for driving around a barricade when a road is closed? Answer: Minnesota State Statute 160.2715 says: "It shall be unlawful to drive over, through, or around any barricade, fence, or obstruction erected for the purpos...

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Minnesota State Statute 160.2715 says: "It shall be unlawful to drive over, through, or around any barricade, fence, or obstruction erected for the purpose of preventing traffic from passing over a portion of a highway closed to public travel or to remove, deface, or damage any such barricade, fence, or obstruction." The violation is a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Question: What is the penalty for driving around a barricade when a road is closed?

Answer: Minnesota State Statute 160.2715 says: "It shall be unlawful to drive over, through, or around any barricade, fence, or obstruction erected for the purpose of preventing traffic from passing over a portion of a highway closed to public travel or to remove, deface, or damage any such barricade, fence, or obstruction." The violation is a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.

When roads are closed, they are closed for a reason. Safety is our top priority, not only for the motoring public, but also for law enforcement, snow plows, construction workers, and other responding personnel that may be providing services on those closed roads.

Road closed to thru traffic or local traffic only signs tell you that you need to take a different route and should only cross the barrier if you have no other option to reach your destination within the restricted area. For example, if the driveway to your home, worksite, or a friend or relative's home can only be accessed on the restricted roadway, you are local traffic and not thru traffic. If your destination is outside the restricted area, you must take another route and not go through.

Road closed means just that; you cannot enter or cross the barrier. If you try, you may not get through, you may damage road work, get stuck and/or be subject to a citation. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says it would not typically close a road if access was needed. Even emergency vehicles generally have to re-route around a closed road.

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One of the best resources to get road closure information is to call "511" or www.511mn.org . The State Patrol, Department of Public Safety and Minnesota Department of Transportation are quick to relay information to 511 so the public can be informed. Information is also available on websites and social media (Facebook and Twitter).

Troopers across the state want to see everyone stay safe and use good common sense by not driving around a closed road barricade. Use extreme caution when traveling in a road closed to local traffic only area.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN, 55811; on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE; or by email at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us

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