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Ask A Trooper: Can I be stopped if 3rd brake light goes out?

Question: Can I be stopped by law enforcement if the third brake light on the rear dash goes out and both brake lights still work?

Answer: Yes you can. Brake lights are very important on any vehicle as they allow other motorists to know when you are slowing and stopping. Under Minnesota law, a vehicle equipped with a third brake light that is not working would be in violation of the statute.

Minnesota statute says that when a vehicle is equipped with stop lamps or signal lamps, such lamps shall at all times be maintained in good working condition.

For your safety, the safety of your passengers and the motorists around you, I encourage you to check your brake lights, headlights and turn signals often.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. 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,