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Minnesota Bicycle Laws

A review of important Minnesota bike laws

Traffic Laws

Bicyclists in Minnesota have the same rights as the driver of a vehicle, with just a few exceptions. One exception is that bicyclists must ride as close to the right-hand side of the road as is practical. Bicyclists do not have to be to the far right side when passing another vehicle, turning left, or when road or weather conditions make it unsafe to be to the right side. When turning, a bicyclist is to give an arm signal for at least 100 feet.

Bicyclists do need to travel in the same direction as vehicle traffic, meaning usually on the right side of the road. Minnesota allows bicyclists to ride 2 abreast, but not more than 2, and must not impede traffic. When riding on a sidewalk, bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians. See Minnesota Statutes 169.222.

If a bicyclist violates a traffic law, that violation can be evidence of the bicyclist’s negligence in Minnesota.

Bicycle Equipment

Bicyclists in Minnesota cannot operate at nighttime unless they have appropriate lighting, and reflectors. All bikes must have properly working brakes.

Minnesota No Fault Law and Bicyclists

In Minnesota, if a bicyclist has a vehicle covered by auto insurance and is injured on their bicycle, their own automobile insurance provides No Fault coverage (in most situations and cases). No Fault coverage means a minimum of $20,000 of medical coverage, and $20,000 of wage loss coverage, as well as other benefits. The fact that there is No Fault coverage does not mean a bicyclist has no claim against a driver at fault in the accident. Instead, the bicyclist typically has both a No Fault claim and a bodily injury claim against the driver at fault. This is a benefit to the bicyclist, since No Fault payments for bills and wage loss are usually made quite promptly.

Accidents Due to Defective Bicycle

When a bicycle defect causes a crash and injury, a claim can be made for the defect in Minnesota. Minnesota law is extremely complicated in cases of defective bicycles, and a full explanation is not possible, as it would be very lengthy. It is important to keep in mind that in defect cases, it is critical that the defective bicycle and all defective parts be kept and not lost. The bicycle and parts must be kept in the same condition as the day of the accident.

 

Comments

Peter Wilborn Oct 02, 2018

October is a big month in the triathlon world, with the Kona Ironman World Championships on the 13th. So it is good news that Triathlete Magazine chose its October issue to focus on bicycle safety and advocacy. Bike Law Director (and our resident triathlete) Rachael Maney was featured and interviewed in the piece. She shared […]

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Peter Wilborn Sep 28, 2018

Chicago has become one of the nation’s top cycling cities, but along with more has come an increase in dooring crashes. A Chicago news channel has covered the issue and interviewed attorney Brendan Kevenides, Bike Law’s legal resource in Illinois. Brendan explained the growing risk to cyclists and how the “Dutch Reach” can help.  The […]

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Amy Benner Johnson Sep 21, 2018

Drivers are coming within less than 1.5 feet of cyclists on the road in Knoxville with alarming regularity. Drivers are coming within less than two feet of cyclists on the road in Knoxville with alarming regularity. It’s not your imagination. It’s not all in your head. Your combined senses of touch, sound, and sight all […]

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Rachael Maney Sep 12, 2018

You may have already seen the video below. If you haven’t, please watch. On Tuesday, August 24th just before 7PM, Jeff McCord and approximately 20 other cyclists were stopped at the intersection of Karl Daly and Grants Mill Road in Irondale, Alabama, a town outside the city of Birmingham. As McCord waited for an ambulance […]

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Rachael Maney Aug 30, 2018

In 2010, Richmond, California got lucky when Brooklyn born Najari Smith planted roots in the Bay Area city, quickly claiming a very important role in his new community. Having given more than 1,100 bikes to Richmond’s youth and community members in the last 6 years, Najari’s vision and mission to promote a bike-centric lifestyle has […]

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Bruce Hagen Jul 17, 2018

On July 11, 2018, a very experienced rider and friend to many in the Rockdale County area, Albert “Ab” Roesel, was killed while out on a rural road doing a ride that he no doubt had done many times before.  Ab was 75 years old.   The police investigation concluded that Ab had been headed Southbound, […]

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Brendan Kevenides Jun 04, 2018

At sea a boat under power must give way to a more vulnerable craft.  The law requires that a power driven vessel give way to a sailing vessel.  A sail boat must give way to a craft engaged in fishing. These simple rules are consistent with the maxim that with greater power comes greater responsibility. […]

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Commuter Bike
Bruce Hagen May 29, 2018

Recently, my wife and I moved into a new home that’s closer to my office, which has allowed me to start commuting by bike.  I rode my bike to and from my office 4 consecutive days before my schedule forced me back into the car. My hope and plan is to commute by bike at […]

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Pat Brown May 10, 2018

Strength, ambition, and courage are just a few words that come to mind when we think of Anthony Lue.  Growing up, Anthony enjoyed playing competitive sports such as baseball, volleyball, basketball and mountain biking, but his true passion was discovered on his high school track.    After winning gold for 100m hurdles at the provincial championships […]

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Lauri Boxer-Macomber Apr 30, 2018

Following a horrific bicycle crash in 2016, Dr. Michael Rifkin has become a new type of bicycling advocate — one who is deeply committed to ending distracted driving. Read his op-ed on Making Distracted Driving in Maine Taboo here. Dr. Rifkin’s piece reminds us that we can be distracted by our phones and other electronic devices even […]

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Brian Weiss Apr 26, 2018

On November 21, 2017, I saw a TV news story about how the Broomfield District Attorney’s Office was routinely offering lax plea deals to drivers that injure cyclists.  In bicycle crash cases with injuries, the DA was offering plead deals to “broken headlight” or “defective vehicle” charges. A “defective vehicle” sentence is one of the […]

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Atlanta's Bike Czar
Bruce Hagen Apr 19, 2018

Who is looking for a great job in a dynamic city with a great opportunity to make bicycle advocacy not just a passion, but a full time, rewarding and well-paying job?   The City of Atlanta is in search of a a new Chief Bicycle Officer to replace the outgoing CBO, Superstar Becky Katz, who after […]

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