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Ask a Trooper: Are motorized cart users considered pedestrians?

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Ask a Trooper: Are motorized cart users considered pedestrians?
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

Question: This is a question I have been wondering about for some time now. Are people on motorized carts considered to be pedestrians? I know it is law to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, but how about someone who is using a motorized cart? I have seen people drive their carts in the path of oncoming traffic, assuming drivers will yield and give them the right-of-way.

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Answer: According to Minnesota State Statute (M.S.S.) 169.212 "Except as otherwise provided by law, a person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device has the rights and responsibilities of a pedestrian." It goes on to say, "An electric personal assistive mobility device may be operated on a roadway only:"

(1) while making a direct crossing of a roadway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk;

(2) where no sidewalk is available;

(3) where a sidewalk is so obstructed as to prevent safe use;

(4) when so directed by a traffic control device or by a peace officer; or

(5) temporarily, in order to gain access to a motor vehicle.

Also, "A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at all times. A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a bicycle path must yield the right-of-way to bicycles at all times."

I would urge caution to anyone crossing the road. Don't count on drivers paying attention. Make eye contact with motorists, continue to be alert and check for vehicles when crossing in a crosswalk. Be predictable; cross or enter streets where it's legal to do so.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws in Minnesota, please send your questions to:  Sgt. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. You can also email questions to jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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