Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

Articles written by Sgt. Neil Dickenson

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Driver's license, REAL ID, and enhanced DL

Question: Do I need to obtain the new Real ID and Driver’s License when my license expires? Answer: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) began issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID...

 

Watch for the lights: vehicle accidents

Question: I was driving on I-35 on a winter night when I saw emergency lights flashing ahead. I moved over and slowed down but when I approached the accident scene I found I was in the lane of the accident. From a distance I could not decipher what...

 

Auxiliary headlamps on a truck with a plow blade

Question: I have a questions regarding the auxiliary headlights on a truck with a plow. Are they a requirement? I purchased a plow for my truck recently and the lights that came with are not nearly as bright as the stock lights on my truck. My stock...

 

Can a person get a ticket for driving too slow?

Question: Can a person get a ticket for driving too slow? Answer: Yes they can. Minnesota State Statute says that no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except...

 

Following too closely and the 3-second-plus rule

Question: What is the legal following distance? What can I do when someone is following too close behind me? Isn’t there a rule of so many vehicle lengths for miles per hour to use as a guide? Answer: The only law regarding following distance...

 

What to do in the event of a vehicle accident

Question: What should a person do if they are involved in a crash? Answer: The State Patrol alone has handled over 41,000 so far this year, so it’s important to know what to do immediately after one happens. Each crash is different and the person...

 

Preparing teens for getting behind the wheel

Question: I have a 15 year old son and we just signed him up for driver’s training and I was told that a State Trooper provides a presentation for the parents and new drivers. Can you explain what this presentation consists of and is this...

 

Safe winter driving tips

Question: Can you provide some winter driving safety tips? Answer: Driving on the highway during the winter months requires more attention than ever. While summer months are the deadliest on Minnesota roads, wintertime leads to the most crashes and...

 

Are dash cams legal?

Question: I see a lot of dash camera footage on YouTube and online altogether. This got me thinking are dash cams legal? Answer: Great question as we see so many videos posted online. Minnesota law allows for driver feedback and safety monitoring...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: In light of the fact that most drivers exceed the posted speed limit, especially on interstate freeways, will I get a citation for obstructing traffic if I drive the speed limit?  This is especially a concern in and around the Twin Cities...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I’ve noticed that school busses all have the words “School Bus” written at the top of the windshield on the front of the vehicle. Similarly, when the bus is used for a different purpose other than school, the words are scraped off or...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: Minnesota just recently enacted a hands-free while driving law, but many states do not have such a law. How is this enforced when people from out of state are traveling on our Interstate highways? I have not seen any signs go up stating...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I have a rather random, but seasonally appropriate question: with harvest season upon us and with slow moving farm vehicles/implements on roadways, is it permissible to pass a slow-moving farm implement on Minnesota highways in a...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: Now that Minnesota’s hands free law is in effect it seems there are numerous vehicles pulled over on the shoulder with the driver talking or texting on the phone. This seems unsafe. Is it legal? And if not, what is the recommended...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I hear you mention TZD and how law enforcement works with them. Can you explain what TZD is? Answer: TZD is an initiative and stands for Towards Zero Deaths. Minnesota’s TZD program was launched in 2003 by the Minnesota Departments of...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can you give some advice on driving in fog? The fog became one car-length dense the other day and it became a dangerous situation. Answer: Driving when the weather limits your visibility can be a challenge for all of us on the road. You...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: Does the new hands-free law apply to tractors, lawn mowers and UTVs? Answer: The hands-free law applies to all motor vehicles. A motor vehicle would include tractors and lawn mowers on a street or highway. The hands-free law would not apply...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I was told the fine for passing a school bus, when the red lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, had recently increased. Answer: In 2017, the fine for a school bus stop arm/red lights violation increased from $300 to $500 here...

 

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Question: As we are ending the motorcycle season I heard of an individual near Rochester, MN who was killed by going off the road and struck a sign head on. He was not wearing a helmet. Being an individual who has been in a motorcycle accident with...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: When turning left on a blinking yellow light, should one pull into the intersection? It seems like a blinking yellow should let at least one car through, but often cars will wait behind the line, negating the ability to move traffic...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I’m writing to you to ask a question regarding whether or not you might know where the signal that I can only assume is the method to tell current “smarter” cars what the speed limit is on the road or highway they are currently...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I have a 2018 Jeep Wrangler which has a windshield that has the ability to fold down from the factory. I am just wondering if the windshield is properly folded down and strapped as per the factory design if this is then legal to drive on...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: I have a question about signs along the road. I heard somewhere that people are not allowed to put signs along the roadway for graduation parties, political signs and advertising. I see signs for auctions fairly often. Does this apply to...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can you please explain the new law that requires drivers to move to the right lane if they are impeding traffic by traveling under the posted speed limit? Answer: The requirement to move over and allow vehicles to pass in the left lane has...

 

Ask a Trooper

Question: We live on a gravel road and during the summer months, ATVs and dirt bikes will drive by from time to time. Recently a group of dirt bikes drove by our house going at least 50 mph and one of them was doing a wheelie for probably half a...

 

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