Speed

169.14 Speed limits, zones; radar.

    Subdivision 1.    Duty to drive with due care.  No
 person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater
 than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.  Every
 driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the
 actual and potential hazards then existing on the highway and
 must use due care in operating a vehicle.  In every event speed
 shall be so restricted as may be necessary to avoid colliding
 with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the
 highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of
 all persons to use due care.

    Subd. 1a.    License revocation for extreme speed.  The
 driver's license of a person who violates any speed limit
 established in this section, by driving in excess of 100 miles
 per hour, is revoked for six months under section 171.17, or for
 a longer minimum period of time applicable under section
 169A.53, 169A.54, or 171.174.

    Subd. 2.    Speed limits.  (a) Where no special hazard
 exists the following speeds shall be lawful, but any speeds in
 excess of such limits shall be prima facie evidence that the
 speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful;
 except that the speed limit within any municipality shall be a
 maximum limit and any speed in excess thereof shall be unlawful:

    (1) 30 miles per hour in an urban district or on a town
 road in a rural residential district;

    (2) 65 miles per hour on noninterstate freeways and
 expressways, as defined in section 160.02, subdivision 19;

    (3) 55 miles per hour in locations other than those
 specified in this section;

    (4) 70 miles per hour on interstate highways outside the
 limits of any urbanized area with a population of greater than
 50,000 as defined by order of the commissioner of
 transportation;

    (5) 65 miles per hour on interstate highways inside the
 limits of any urbanized area with a population of greater than
 50,000 as defined by order of the commissioner of
 transportation;

    (6) ten miles per hour in alleys; and

    (7) 25 miles per hour in residential roadways if adopted by
 the road authority having jurisdiction over the residential
 roadway. 

    (b) A speed limit adopted under paragraph (a), clause (7),
 is not effective unless the road authority has erected signs
 designating the speed limit and indicating the beginning and end
 of the residential roadway on which the speed limit applies.

    (c) For purposes of this subdivision, "rural residential
 district" means the territory contiguous to and including any
 town road within a subdivision or plat of land that is built up
 with dwelling houses at intervals of less than 300 feet for a
 distance of one-quarter mile or more.

    (d) Notwithstanding section 609.0331 or 609.101 or other
 law to the contrary, a person who violates a speed limit
 established in this subdivision, or a speed limit designated on
 an appropriate sign under subdivision 4, 5, 5b, 5c, or 5e, by
 driving 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable
 speed limit, is assessed an additional surcharge equal to the
 amount of the fine imposed for the speed violation, but not less
 than $25.

    Subd. 3.    Reduced speed required.  (a) The driver of
 any vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements, drive at an
 appropriate reduced speed when approaching or passing an
 authorized emergency vehicle stopped with emergency lights
 flashing on any street or highway, when approaching and crossing
 an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and
 going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when
 traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special
 hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by
 reason of weather or highway conditions. 

    (b) A person who fails to reduce speed appropriately when
 approaching or passing an authorized emergency vehicle stopped
 with emergency lights flashing on a street or highway shall be
 assessed an additional surcharge equal to the amount of the fine
 imposed for the speed violation, but not less than $25.

    Subd. 4.    Establishment of zones by commissioner.  On
 determining upon the basis of an engineering and traffic
 investigation that any speed set forth in this section is
 greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions
 found to exist on any trunk highway or upon any part thereof,
 the commissioner may erect appropriate signs designating a
 reasonable and safe speed limit thereat, which speed limit shall
 be effective when such signs are erected.  Any speeds in excess
 of such limits shall be prima facie evidence that the speed is
 not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful; except that
 any speed limit within any municipality shall be a maximum limit
 and any speed in excess thereof shall be unlawful.  On
 determining upon that basis that a part of the trunk highway
 system outside a municipality should be a zone of maximum speed
 limit, the commissioner may establish that part as such a zone
 by erecting appropriate signs showing the beginning and end of
 the zone, designating a reasonable and safe speed therefor,
 which may be different than the speed set forth in this section,
 and that it is a zone of maximum speed limit.  The speed so
 designated by the commissioner within any such zone shall be a
 maximum speed limit, and speed in excess of such limit shall be
 unlawful.  The commissioner may in the same manner from time to
 time alter the boundary of such a zone and the speed limit
 therein or eliminate such zone. 

    Subd. 4a. Repealed, 1997 c 143 s 20

    Subd. 5.    Zoning within local area.  When local
 authorities believe that the existing speed limit upon any
 street or highway, or part thereof, within their respective
 jurisdictions and not a part of the trunk highway system is
 greater or less than is reasonable or safe under existing
 conditions, they may request the commissioner to authorize, upon
 the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, the
 erection of appropriate signs designating what speed is
 reasonable and safe, and the commissioner may authorize the
 erection of appropriate signs designating a reasonable and safe
 speed limit thereat, which speed limit shall be effective when
 such signs are erected.  Any speeds in excess of these speed
 limits shall be prima facie evidence that the speed is not
 reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful; except that any
 speed limit within any municipality shall be a maximum limit and
 any speed in excess thereof shall be unlawful.  Alteration of
 speed limits on streets and highways shall be made only upon
 authority of the commissioner except as provided in subdivision
 5a. 

    Subd. 5a.    Speed zoning in school zone; surcharge.  (a)
 Local authorities may establish a school speed limit within a
 school zone of a public or nonpublic school upon the basis of an
 engineering and traffic investigation as prescribed by the
 commissioner of transportation.  The establishment of a school
 speed limit on any trunk highway shall be with the consent of
 the commissioner of transportation.  Such school speed limits
 shall be in effect when children are present, going to or
 leaving school during opening or closing hours or during school
 recess periods.  The school speed limit shall not be lower than
 15 miles per hour and shall not be more than 30 miles per hour
 below the established speed limit on an affected street or
 highway.

    (b) The school speed limit shall be effective upon the
 erection of appropriate signs designating the speed and
 indicating the beginning and end of the reduced speed zone.  Any
 speed in excess of such posted school speed limit is unlawful. 
 All such signs shall be erected by the local authorities on
 those streets and highways under their respective jurisdictions
 and by the commissioner of transportation on trunk highways.

    (c) For the purpose of this subdivision, "school zone"
 means that section of a street or highway which abuts the
 grounds of a school where children have access to the street or
 highway from the school property or where an established school
 crossing is located provided the school advance sign prescribed
 by the manual on uniform traffic control devices adopted by the
 commissioner of transportation pursuant to section 169.06 is in
 place.  All signs erected by local authorities to designate
 speed limits in school zones shall conform to the Manual on
 Uniform Control Devices.

    (d) Notwithstanding section 609.0331 or 609.101 or other
 law to the contrary, a person who violates a speed limit
 established under this subdivision is assessed an additional
 surcharge equal to the amount of the fine imposed for the
 violation, but not less than $25.

    Subd. 5b.    Segment in urban district.  When any
 segment of at least a quarter-mile in distance of any city
 street, municipal state-aid street, or town road on which a
 speed limit in excess of 30 miles per hour has been established
 pursuant to an engineering and traffic investigation by the
 commissioner meets the definition of "urban district" as defined
 in section 169.01, subdivision 59, the governing body of the
 city or town may by resolution declare the segment to be an
 urban district and may establish on the segment the speed limit
 for urban districts prescribed in subdivision 2.  The speed
 limit so established shall be effective upon the erection of
 appropriate signs designating the speed and indicating the
 beginning and end of the segment on which the speed limit is
 established, and any speed in excess of such posted limits shall
 be unlawful.  A copy of the resolution shall be transmitted to
 the commissioner at least ten days prior to the erection of the
 signs. 

    Subd. 5c.    Speed zoning in alleyway.  Local
 authorities may regulate speed limits for alleyways as defined
 in section 169.01 based on their own engineering and traffic
 investigations.  Alleyway speed limits established at other than
 ten miles per hour shall be effective when proper signs are
 posted. 

    Subd. 5d.    Speed zoning in work zone; surcharge.  (a)
 The commissioner, on trunk highways and temporary trunk
 highways, and local authorities, on streets and highways under
 their jurisdiction, may authorize the use of reduced maximum
 speed limits in highway work zones.  The commissioner or local
 authority is not required to conduct an engineering and traffic
 investigation before authorizing a reduced speed limit in a
 highway work zone.

    (b) The minimum highway work zone speed limit is 20 miles
 per hour.  The work zone speed limit must not reduce the
 established speed limit on the affected street or highway by
 more than 15 miles per hour, except that the highway work zone
 speed limit must not exceed 40 miles per hour.  The commissioner
 or local authority shall post the limits of the work zone. 
 Highway work zone speed limits are effective on erection of
 appropriate regulatory speed limit signs.  The signs must be
 removed or covered when they are not required.  A speed greater
 than the posted highway work zone speed limit is unlawful. 

    (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), on divided highways the
 commissioner or local authority may establish a highway work
 zone speed limit that does not exceed 55 miles per hour.

    (d) For purposes of this subdivision, "highway work zone"
 means a segment of highway or street where a road authority or
 its agent is constructing, reconstructing, or maintaining the
 physical structure of the roadway, its shoulders, or features
 adjacent to the roadway, including underground and overhead
 utilities and highway appurtenances, when workers are present.

    (e) Notwithstanding section 609.0331 or 609.101 or other
 law to the contrary, a person who violates a speed limit
 established under paragraph (b) or (c), or who violates any
 other provision of this section while in a highway work zone, is
 assessed an additional surcharge equal to the amount of the fine
 imposed for the speed violation, but not less than $25.

    Subd. 5e.    Speed limit on park road.  The political
 subdivision with authority over a park may establish a speed
 limit on a road located within the park.  A speed limit
 established under this subdivision on a trunk highway is
 effective only with the commissioner's approval.  A speed limit
 established under this subdivision must be based on an
 engineering and traffic investigation prescribed by the
 commissioner of transportation and must not be lower than 20
 miles per hour, and no speed limit established under this
 subdivision may reduce existing speed limits by more than 15
 miles per hour.  A speed limit established under this
 subdivision is effective on the erection of appropriate signs
 designating the speed limit and indicating the beginning and end
 of the reduced speed zone.  Any speed in excess of the posted
 speed is unlawful.

    Subd. 6.  Repealed, Ex1971 c 27 s 49

    Subd. 7.    Burden of proof.  The provisions of this
 chapter declaring speed limitation shall not be construed to
 relieve the plaintiff in any civil action from the burden of
 proving negligence on the part of the defendant as the proximate
 cause of an accident. 

    Subd. 8.    Minimum speeds.  On determining upon the
 basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that a speed
 at least as great as, or in excess of, a specified and
 determined minimum is necessary to the reasonable and safe use
 of any trunk highway or portion thereof, the commissioner may
 erect appropriate signs specifying the minimum speed on such
 highway or portion thereof.  The minimum speed shall be
 effective when such signs are erected.  Any speeds less than the
 posted minimum speeds shall be prima facie evidence that the
 speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful. 

    Subd. 9.    Standards of evidence.  In any prosecution
 in which the rate of speed of a motor vehicle is relevant,
 evidence of the speed of a motor vehicle as indicated on the
 speedometer thereof shall be admissible on a showing that a
 vehicle is regularly used in traffic law enforcement and that
 the speedometer thereon is regularly and routinely tested for
 accuracy and a record of the results of said tests kept on file
 by the agency having control of said vehicle.  Evidence as to
 the speed indicated on said speedometer shall be prima facie
 evidence that the said vehicle was, at the time said reading was
 observed, traveling at the rate of speed so indicated; subject
 to correction by the amount of error, if any, shown to exist by
 the test made closest in time to the time of said reading. 

    Records of speedometer tests kept in the regular course of
 operations of any law enforcement agency shall be admissible
 without further foundation, as to the results of said tests. 
 Such records shall be available to the defendant upon demand. 
 Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude or interfere with
 the cross examination or impeachment of evidence of rate of
 speed as indicated by speedometer readings, pursuant to the
 Rules of Evidence. 

    Subd. 10.    Radar; speed-measuring device; standards of
 evidence.  (a) In any prosecution in which the rate of speed
 of a motor vehicle is relevant, evidence of the speed as
 indicated on radar or other speed-measuring device is admissible
 in evidence, subject to the following conditions:

    (1) the officer operating the device has sufficient
 training to properly operate the equipment;

    (2) the officer testifies as to the manner in which the
 device was set up and operated;

    (3) the device was operated with minimal distortion or
 interference from outside sources; and

    (4) the device was tested by an accurate and reliable
 external mechanism, method, or system at the time it was set up.

    (b) Records of tests made of such devices and kept in the
 regular course of operations of any law enforcement agency are
 admissible in evidence without further foundation as to the
 results of the tests.  The records shall be available to a
 defendant upon demand.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be
 construed to preclude or interfere with cross examination or
 impeachment of evidence of the rate of speed as indicated on the
 radar or speed-measuring device. 

    Subd. 11.    Hand-held police traffic radar.  (a) Law
 enforcement agencies that use hand-held radar units shall
 establish operating procedures to reduce the operator's exposure
 to microwave radiation. 

    (b) The procedures, at a minimum, must require:

    (1) that the operator turn the unit off when it is not in
 use;

    (2) if the unit has a stand-by mode, that the operator use
 this mode except when measuring a vehicle's speed;

    (3) that the operator not allow the antenna to rest against
 the operator's body while it is in operation; and

    (4) that the operator always point the antenna unit away
 from the operator and any other person in very close proximity
 to the unit.

    Subd. 12.    Radar jammer.  For purposes of this
 section, "radar jammer" means any instrument, device, or
 equipment designed or intended for use with a vehicle or
 otherwise to jam or interfere in any manner with a
 speed-measuring device operated by a peace officer.

    No person shall sell, offer for sale, use, or possess any
 radar jammer in this state.

    HIST: (2720-178) 1937 c 464 s 28; 1939 c 430 s 6; 1947 c 428 s
 12,13; 1955 c 802 s 1,2; 1957 c 580 s 1; 1963 c 843 s 1-4; 1969
 c 623 s 1; 1975 c 53 s 1; 1975 c 363 s 1,2; 1976 c 166 s 7; 1979
 c 60 s 1; 1980 c 498 s 4; 1984 c 417 s 24,25; 1986 c 444; 1987 c
 319 s 1; 1991 c 298 art 4 s 9; 1993 c 26 s 1; 1993 c 61 s 1;
 1994 c 635 art 1 s 12; 1994 c 640 s 1; 1994 c 645 s 1; 1995 c
 118 s 1; 1995 c 265 art 2 s 18; 1996 c 455 art 1 s 5,6; 1997 c
 143 s 9-11; 1997 c 159 art 2 s 20,21; 1999 c 44 s 1; 2001 c 213
 s 9; 1Sp2003 c 19 art 2 s 27; 1Sp2005 c 6 art 3 s 41,42

 

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