Traffic Safety Laws in Minnesota

Helmet Laws in Minnesota

Motorcycles

Helmets must be worn by riders under 18 years old and by instructional permit holders.

Bicycles

Helmets are not required, regardless of age.

MN Headlight

Vehicles

Headlights must be used:

  • Between sunset and sunrise
  • When visibility dims to 500 feet or less
  • When windshield wipers are used in rain, snow, hail, sleet or fog

Motorcycles

Daytime use is required by law.

Cell Phones & Texting Laws

As of August 1, 2019, Minnesota's cell phone laws have changed to be completely hands-free. That means you may not hold and manipulate your cell phone for any reason—whether to talk, text, play music, or use your GPS—unless you are in an absolute emergency. Any activity must be voice-operated or used through single-touch activation.

Additionally:

  • Provisional licensees, permit holders, and all drivers under 18 years old are still banned from all hand-held cell phone usage unless calling 911. Minor drivers may access GPS for directions and listen to music or podcasts ONLY if they do so by voice activation or other hands-free methods.
  • School bus drivers are banned from using a cell phone completely.

If you violate these laws, you will be required to pay court fees and pay a fine of:

  •  $50 for a first offense.
  •  $275 for any second or subsequent offenses.

Child Car Seat Laws in MN

  • Children must be at least 8 years old or be at least 4 ft 9 inches tall in order to just use a seat belt when riding in a car. Otherwise, they must use a federally-approved safety or booster seat.
  • Infants weighing less than 20 lbs. must ride in a rear-facing car seat

If you're in the market for one, you can shop for a car seat online at any time. When ordering, be sure the car seat matches your child's height, weight and age.

Visit Minnesota's Child Passenger Safety Program for more information, and links to certified specialists who can ensure proper installation of your child safety seat. The state recommends ― although it's not the law ― that children use a safety seat until they are at least 4 ft 9 inches tall, even if they're 8 years old.

Reporting Dangerous Law Violations

Reporting Drunk or Dangerous Drivers

Dial 911. Provide the vehicle's license plate number, make, model, location and travel direction.

Reporting Unattended Kids in Vehicles

Dial 911 if you suspect an unattended child left in a vehicle is in danger from excessive heat or cold. Remain with the vehicle, if possible, until authorities arrive.

Reporting Unattended Pets in Vehicles

Call the local police department or animal control unit if you feel an unattended pet inside a vehicle is at risk.

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