Driving near pedestrians

You can learn laws and safety tips to drive responsibly around pedestrians.

Driving laws, rules and safety tips

Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility between drivers and pedestrians. Help keep you and those who walk and roll safe.  Be considerate of other travelers and always be prepared for others to make a mistake.

General tips for drivers

Driving laws and pedestrian rules


General tips for drivers

The front of a moving car with the blur of signs and buildngs in the background

Always do the following

  • For the most visibility possible: keep your windshield clean and headlights on.
  • Reduce your speed if the sun is blinding you.
  •  Use extra caution when driving near:
    • children playing along a street
    • older pedestrians who may not see or hear you
  • Before backing up: Look behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians. Especially watch out for small children.

Do not do the following

  • Use cell phones. Do keep your eyes on the road. You should avoid distractions.
  • 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.
  • Park within 30 feet of stop signs and stoplights. It's not allowed. This is to maintain clear sight lines for crossing pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Drive when tired. Sleep deprived drivers are a hazard equal in severity to drunk drivers (According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Read about drowsy driving


Driving laws and pedestrian rules

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 20 mph speed limit.

A pedestrian’s chances of death if hit by a motor vehicle:

  • 15% at 20 mph
  • 45% at 30 mph
  • 85% at 40 mph

The faster you drive, the more dangerous our streets become.

Learn about Minneapolis speed limits

Stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk

Marked crosswalks have one or more the following:

  • Pavement markings
  • Pedestrian warning signs
  • Flashing lights

Unmarked crosswalks occur at all other locations where two streets intersect.

Stopping for pedestrians

  • Drivers must only stop for a pedestrian who has entered a crosswalk (According to Minnesota Pedestrian statute).
  • Still, you should also stop for a pedestrian who is clearly waiting to enter a crosswalk, on the curb.

After you've stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk

It's legal to proceed after all pedestrians have passed your lane.

See the Minnesota Pedestrian Statute 

Stop for a pedestrian who is crossing with a "Walk" or flashing "Don’t Walk" signal

A pedestrian who has legally entered a signalized crosswalk has the right-of-way (Minnesota Pedestrian Statute).

If you're turning at a signalized intersection

Complete your turn only when all pedestrians have cleared your lane.

See the Minnesota Pedestrian Statute

Stop behind the stop bar at signalized intersections

Stopping in a crosswalk is illegal. It also:

  • Reduces visibility for crossing pedestrians
  • Leaves pedestrians unsure that you can see them

If you need to creep into the crosswalk to gain greater visibility

Do so only after pedestrians have cleared your lane.

Stop before the sidewalk when emerging from an alley or driveway

Vision Zero

Vision Zero is a movement for safe streets. The City has joined the national Vision Zero movement to end deaths and severe injuries on our streets.

Parking and driving

Find information to help you drive and park in the city. Learn about road closures, street sweeping, Snow Emergencies and more.

Contact us

Kadence Novak

Transportation Planner - Ped/Bike Coordinator
Public Works




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 410
Minneapolis, MN 55415