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Ask a Trooper: Do red cars cause the most trouble on the road?

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Question: I have been hearing discussions for years now that red cars are most frequently stopped by law enforcement officers, compared to other colored cars. I have also heard red cars are involved in more motor vehicle crashes than that of other colored cars. Is there any truth to either of these longtime stories/myths?

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Answer: I doubt it, but who knows. I don't know if any studies have been done on it, but I am sure that whatever color of vehicle is getting stopped more than any others is purely coincidental (because it's not against the law to drive red-colored vehicles).

As far as more crashes, I doubt that, too, because I have always been told the opposite - that red cars are safer because they stand out more and are therefore more visible than some of the other vehicle colors.

Red cars do stand out, but we are looking for violations, and the color of the vehicle really has nothing to do with that.

There are a lot of myths relating to the operation of motor vehicles that seem to hang on for many decades. Many years ago, I witnessed something during a court trial. A man (from out-of-state) accused the local judge of having the law enforcement specially watch for "out-of-state drivers" versus Minnesotans (to charge for violations).

The judge stopped court and ordered an immediate hand survey of all traffic tickets on file for the past two to three years to be sorted for in-state versus out-of-state violators. The pile of tickets to violators from in-state was like Mount Everest, when compared to the small pile of tickets to drivers from out of the state. Court was put back into session and the man was found guilty in a prompt manner. He paid his fine and left quietly.

Thanks for asking.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send them to Trp. Jesse Grabow - Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205 or e-mail him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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