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Big fine, jail time for barricade jumpers

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Sgt. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol

Question: I've noticed the Minnesota State Patrol has been busy with some bad storms this winter and had to close down the highways. What is the penalty for driving around a barricade?

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Answer: This is a very good topic and, being that this is Minnesota, we need to remember there is plenty of winter and potential storms left. This is what Minnesota State Statute 160.2715 says; "It shall be unlawful to drive over, through, or around any barricade, fence, or obstruction erected for the purpose of preventing traffic from passing over a portion of a highway closed to public travel or to remove, deface, or damage any such barricade, fence, or obstruction." A violation of this is a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.

When the roads are closed, the matter is taken very seriously for the safety of not only the motoring public, but also for the law enforcement, snow plows and other responding personnel that may be on those closed roads providing the services they do. One of the best resources to get road closure information is to call "511" or www.511mn.org. I would also encourage everyone that may need to travel during inclement weather to tune into local radio and TV stations. Not only myself but the State Patrol, Department of Public Safety and Minnesota Department of Transportation are quick to relay that information to them so they are able to inform those that are listening. Much information is available on websites and social media (Facebook and Twitter).

This winter, I've personally dealt with several individuals that chose to put their personal schedule ahead of safety and drive around barricades onto closed roads in horrible weather and tell me they had "no idea" they were closed. We are living in an age where technology and information are immediately available. There really is no excuse. I just want to see everyone stay safe and use some good common sense.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow — Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).

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