Ask a Trooper: Bikes are not above the law

Does a bicyclist have to obey the same traffic laws as a motorist? Yes

Minnesota State Patrol courtesy photo
Minnesota State Patrol courtesy photo
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Question: I really enjoy seeing these on Facebook and I am hoping you can shed some light on bike laws. I work and live around Glendalough State Park where there are quite a few walking/biking paths. I have seen and been verbally accosted by those whom do not seem to "see" the stop and yield signs on such paths. Riders have blown through them and not given the right of way to the vehicle already in motion. Can you please explain the bike path signs to those who may not understand? Thank you for your time and continued service to our communities.
Answer: Thank you for the question. Sharing the road is always an important topic.
Does a bicyclist have to obey the same traffic laws as a motorist? Yes, Minnesota Statute 169.222 states: “Every person operating a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle by this chapter, except in respect to those provisions in this chapter relating expressly to bicycles and in respect to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature cannot reasonably be applied to bicycles.” This includes stop signs, stop lights, yield signs, etc.

Does a bicyclist have to dismount and walk their bike through a crosswalk? No, a bicyclist using a crosswalk does not have to dismount to cross the intersection, but in some cases this may be the safest option.

A person lawfully operating a bicycle on a sidewalk, across a roadway or shoulder while using a crosswalk, has all of the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances. That includes not entering a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the vehicle to stop.

Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trooper Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, ).

Read up on other Ask a Trooper Q and As.
Sgt. Jesse Grabow shared tips and information for Minnesota drivers to stay safe during the winter.

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