Tips for Motorists
- Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead.
- Obey the speed limit. Most streets in Minneapolis have a 30mph speed limit. A pedestrian’s chances of death if hit by a motor vehicle are 15% at 20 MPH, 45% at 30 MPH, and 85% at 40 MPH. The faster you drive, the more dangerous our streets become.
- Stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked. Marked crosswalks have pavement markings, pedestrian warning signs, and/or flashing lights. Unmarked crosswalks occur at all other locations where two streets intersect. While Minnesota Pedestrian statute says that a motorist must only stop for a pedestrian who has entered a crosswalk, you should also stop for a pedestrian who is clearly waiting to enter a crosswalk, on the curb. After you have stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, it is legal to proceed after all pedestrians have passed your lane.
- Stop for a pedestrian who is crossing with a "Walk" or flashing "Don’t Walk" signal. Minnesota Pedestrian statute gives a pedestrian who has legally entered a signalized crosswalk has the right-of-way. If you are turning at a signalized intersection, complete your turn only when all pedestrians have cleared your lane.
- Stop behind the stop bar at signalized intersections. In addition to being illegal, stopping in a crosswalk reduces visibility for crossing pedestrians. It also leaves pedestrians unsure of their visibility toward you. If you need to creep into the crosswalk in order to gain greater visibility, do so only after pedestrians have cleared your lane.
- Stop before the sidewalk when emerging from an alley or driveway. See the MN Stop at Sidewalk statute
- For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on. Reduce your speed significantly if you are blinded by the sun.
- Use extra caution when driving near children playing along a street, or near older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.
- Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing up, especially for small children.
- Keep distractions to a minimum – do not use cell phones and keep your eyes on the road.
- Don’t drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving increases your chances of striking a pedestrian.
- Never park on a sidewalk or in front of a curb ramp. Parking is also not allowed within 30 feet of stop signs and stoplights, in order to maintain clear sight lines for crossing pedestrians and vehicles.
- Don't drive when overly tired. NHTSA considers sleep deprived drivers a hazard equal in severity to drunk drivers.
Last updated Oct 25, 2018