Question: What do those words on the door of your squad car "L'ETOILE DU NORD" mean? Answer: Our squad car door badge contains the Seal of Minnesota which has the French phrase "L'Etoile du Nord" meaning "The Star of the North." It became our state motto when it was chosen by our first Governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, and was adopted in 1861, three years after Minnesota was admitted to the union. The State Seal is also included on our badge, hat badge, shoulder patches and tie tac.
Question: I noticed a white and blue pin on a highway patrolman's uniform where a nametag might usually be, what would that stand for? Answer: What you saw was most likely a blue and white service bar that a Trooper received for a life-saving award. This recognition is awarded to State Patrol employees who perform life-saving acts where there's no unusual hazard to the employee involved. The award is for incidents where a person's death was imminent if not for the employee's actions. Here are other service bars awarded to State Patrol employees:
Question: Is it legal for local police or highway patrol to make regular traffic stops with an unmarked vehicle (no markings at all) or does the vehicle have to have some kind of markings? Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol has 15 unmarked squad cars operated by troopers whose primary job function is road patrol. Per state statute, these unmarked patrol cars are required to have a door shield (MSP decal). Key words in the statute are "primary function."
Question: I have a legal question for you. I have installed a light located in the wheel well to cast a glow onto the tire and rim. Mine are a purple color. You cannot see the LED light, just the glow. Is it legal for me to drive on the road with this? Thanks! Answer: That color of light would not be allowed. A vehicle can only have a lamp or device that displays a colored light that's required or allowed by Minnesota law. Depending on where the lamp or light is located, typically only amber, red and what is allowed for headlights meet the law.
Question: Why do officers assume someone was speeding when a driver hits ice and loses control? That can happen to the most experienced drivers. Using 169.14.1 to give a person a ticket because he hit some ice and went off the side of the highway seems like that officer has very little compassion.
Question: My husband was driving while I was a passenger and an elderly man driving ran a stop sign and cut in front of us. My husband honked his horn to alert the driver prior to him attempting to come into our lane. However, he did not appear to hear us. Fortunately, we were able to avoid being hit, as my husband was an alert driver and saw this coming. Is this something we can report? I am not sure if this man should be driving, as he appeared to have no regard for anyone else on the road. I am not sure what police could have done, as there was no accident or injury.
Question: What should I do about my neighbor who snow blows the snow from his driveway into the street? I do not know who to report this to. This morning I nearly had an accident sliding down our street. Answer: There is a law that covers this issue. The state statute says that it is unlawful to obstruct any highway or deposit snow or ice on the road. This prohibits the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow on to public roads. This includes the ditch and right-of-way area along the roads. There may be local ordinances against it as well.
Question: Recently I have noticed quite a few semi-trucks on the freeway with snow and ice blowing off the top of the trailers, sometimes in sheets. I can only imagine what would happen if a sheet came off and struck an unsuspecting vehicle while traveling on the roadway. Is there a requirement to remove the snow/ice prior to traveling with the trailer? Answer: This type of incident would fall under the "Unsecured load" statute. The law says that no vehicle shall be moved on a roadway, unless the load is securely covered to prevent any leaking, blowing, shifting or dropping.
Question: I have a question about U Turns. I looked it up so I believe I know the answer, but many people, including my friend, seem to think they are illegal. As I recall, a U Turn is legal as long as it is not specifically prohibited or is obviously dangerous.
Question: You are at an intersection on a four-lane highway where you cross over the two lanes and you are in the median crossover at a yield sign and wanting to turn left. There is a vehicle across from you at a stop sign wanting to go straight, are you supposed to yield to that vehicle wanting to go straight even though he has the stop sign or does he have to stay stopped until I make my left turn to enter the main line of traffic?