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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1813

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to traffic regulations; setting maximum speed limit at 55 miles per hour
on highways and 30 miles per hour on other roads; amending Minnesota Statutes
2006, section 169.14.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 169.14, is amended to read:


169.14 SPEED LIMITS, ZONES; RADAR.

Subdivision 1.

Duty to drive with due care.

No person shall drive a vehicle on a
highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. Every
driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the actual and potential hazards
then existing on the highway and must use due care in operating a vehicle. In every event
speed shall be so restricted as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle
or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements
and the duty of all persons to use due care.

Subd. 1a.

License revocation for extreme speed.

The driver's license of a person
who violates any speed limit established in this section, by driving in excess of 100 miles
per hour, is revoked for six months under section 171.17, or for a longer minimum period
of time applicable under section 169A.53, 169A.54, or 171.174.

Subd. 2.

Speed limits.

(a) Where no special hazard exists the following speeds
shall be lawful, but any speeds in excess of such limits shall be prima facie evidence
that the speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful; except that the speed
limit within any municipality shall be a maximum limit and any speed in excess thereof
shall be unlawful:

(1) 30 miles per hour in an urban district or on a town road in a rural residential
district;

(2) deleted text begin65deleted text end new text begin55 new text endmiles per hour on noninterstate freeways and expressways, as defined in
section 160.02, subdivision 19;

(3) 55 miles per hour in locations other than those specified in this section;

(4) deleted text begin70deleted text end new text begin55 new text endmiles per hour on interstate highways outside the limits of any urbanized
area with a population of greater than 50,000 as defined by order of the commissioner of
transportation;

(5) deleted text begin65deleted text end new text begin55 new text endmiles per hour on interstate highways inside the limits of any urbanized
area with a population of greater than 50,000 as defined by order of the commissioner of
transportation;

(6) ten miles per hour in alleys; and

(7) 25 miles per hour in residential roadways if adopted by the road authority having
jurisdiction over the residential roadway.

(b) A speed limit adopted under paragraph (a), clause (7), is not effective unless the
road authority has erected signs designating the speed limit and indicating the beginning
and end of the residential roadway on which the speed limit applies.

(c) For purposes of this subdivision, "rural residential district" means the territory
contiguous to and including any town road within a subdivision or plat of land that is built
up with dwelling houses at intervals of less than 300 feet for a distance of one-quarter
mile or more.

(d) Notwithstanding section 609.0331 or 609.101 or other law to the contrary,
a person who violates a speed limit established in this subdivision, or a speed limit
designated on an appropriate sign under subdivision 4, 5, 5b, 5c, or 5e, by driving 20 miles
per hour or more in excess of the applicable speed limit, is assessed an additional surcharge
equal to the amount of the fine imposed for the speed violation, but not less than $25.

Subd. 3.

Reduced speed required.

(a) The driver of any vehicle shall, consistent
with the requirements, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching or passing
an authorized emergency vehicle stopped with emergency lights flashing on any street or
highway, when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when
approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling
upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazards exist with respect to
pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

(b) A person who fails to reduce speed appropriately when approaching or passing
an authorized emergency vehicle stopped with emergency lights flashing on a street or
highway shall be assessed an additional surcharge equal to the amount of the fine imposed
for the speed violation, but not less than $25.

Subd. 4.

Establishment of zones by commissioner.

On determining upon the basis
of an engineering and traffic investigation that any speed set forth in this section is greater
deleted text begin or lessdeleted text end than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist on any trunk highway
or upon any part thereof, the commissioner may erect appropriate signs designating a
reasonable and safe speed limit thereat, which speed limit shall be effective when such
signs are erected. Any speeds in excess of such limits shall be prima facie evidence that
the speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful; except that any speed limit
within any municipality shall be a maximum limit and any speed in excess thereof shall be
unlawful. On determining upon that basis that a part of the trunk highway system outside
a municipality should be a zone of maximum speed limit, the commissioner may establish
that part as such a zone by erecting appropriate signs showing the beginning and end of
the zone, designating a reasonable and safe speed therefor, which may be different than
the speed set forth in this sectionnew text begin but not to exceed 55 miles per hournew text end, and that it is a zone
of maximum speed limit. The speed so designated by the commissioner within any such
zone shall be a maximum speed limit, and speed in excess of such limit shall be unlawful.
The commissioner may in the same manner from time to time alter the boundary of such a
zone and the speed limit therein or eliminate such zone.

Subd. 5.

Zoning within local area.

When local authorities believe that the existing
speed limit upon any street or highway, or part thereof, within their respective jurisdictions
and not a part of the trunk highway system is greater or less than is reasonable or safe
under existing conditions, they may request the commissioner to authorize, upon the basis
of an engineering and traffic investigation, the erection of appropriate signs designating
what speed new text beginnot exceeding 55 miles per hour new text endis reasonable and safe, and the commissioner
may authorize the erection of appropriate signs designating a reasonable and safe speed
limit thereat, which speed limit shall be effective when such signs are erected. Any
speeds in excess of these speed limits shall be prima facie evidence that the speed is
not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful; except that any speed limit within any
municipality shall be a maximum limit and any speed in excess thereof shall be unlawful.
Alteration of speed limits on streets and highways shall be made only upon authority of
the commissioner except as provided in subdivision 5a.

Subd. 5a.

Speed zoning in school zone; surcharge.

(a) Local authorities may
establish a school speed limit within a school zone of a public or nonpublic school upon
the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation as prescribed by the commissioner
of transportation. The establishment of a school speed limit on any trunk highway shall
be with the consent of the commissioner of transportation. Such school speed limits
shall be in effect when children are present, going to or leaving school during opening or
closing hours or during school recess periods. The school speed limit shall not be lower
than 15 miles per hour and shall not be more than 30 miles per hour deleted text beginbelow the established
speed limit on an affected street or highway
deleted text end.

(b) The school speed limit shall be effective upon the erection of appropriate signs
designating the speed and indicating the beginning and end of the reduced speed zone.
Any speed in excess of such posted school speed limit is unlawful. All such signs shall
be erected by the local authorities on those streets and highways under their respective
jurisdictions and by the commissioner of transportation on trunk highways.

(c) For the purpose of this subdivision, "school zone" means that section of a street
or highway which abuts the grounds of a school where children have access to the street
or highway from the school property or where an established school crossing is located
provided the school advance sign prescribed by the manual on uniform traffic control
devices adopted by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to section 169.06 is in
place. All signs erected by local authorities to designate speed limits in school zones shall
conform to the Manual on Uniform Control Devices.

(d) Notwithstanding section 609.0331 or 609.101 or other law to the contrary,
a person who violates a speed limit established under this subdivision is assessed an
additional surcharge equal to the amount of the fine imposed for the violation, but not
less than $25.

Subd. 5b.

Segment in urban district.

When any segment of at least a quarter-mile
in distance of any city street, municipal state-aid street, or town road on which a speed
limit in excess of 30 miles per hour has been established pursuant to an engineering
and traffic investigation by the commissioner meets the definition of "urban district" as
defined in section 169.01, subdivision 59, the governing body of the city or town may by
resolution declare the segment to be an urban district and may establish on the segment the
speed limit for urban districts prescribed in subdivision 2. The speed limit so established
shall be effective upon the erection of appropriate signs designating the speed and
indicating the beginning and end of the segment on which the speed limit is established,
and any speed in excess of such posted limits shall be unlawful. A copy of the resolution
shall be transmitted to the commissioner at least ten days prior to the erection of the signs.

Subd. 5c.

Speed zoning in alleyway.

Local authorities may regulate speed limits
for alleyways as defined in section 169.01 based on their own engineering and traffic
investigationsnew text begin, but not to exceed 30 miles per hournew text end. Alleyway speed limits established at
other than ten miles per hour shall be effective when proper signs are posted.

Subd. 5d.

Speed zoning in work zone; surcharge.

(a) The commissioner, on
trunk highways and temporary trunk highways, and local authorities, on streets and
highways under their jurisdiction, may authorize the use of reduced maximum speed
limits in highway work zones. The commissioner or local authority is not required to
conduct an engineering and traffic investigation before authorizing a reduced speed limit
in a highway work zone.

(b) The minimum highway work zone speed limit is 20 miles per hour. The work
zone speed limit must not reduce the established speed limit on deleted text beginthedeleted text end new text beginan new text endaffected street deleted text beginordeleted text end
new text begin by more than ten miles per hour and on an affected new text endhighway by more than 15 miles per
hourdeleted text begin, except that the highway work zone speed limit must not exceed 40 miles per hourdeleted text end.
The commissioner or local authority shall post the limits of the work zone. Highway work
zone speed limits are effective on erection of appropriate regulatory speed limit signs. The
signs must be removed or covered when they are not required. A speed greater than the
posted highway work zone speed limit is unlawful.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), on divided highways the commissioner or local
authority may establish a highway work zone speed limit that does not exceed 55 miles
per hour.

(d) For purposes of this subdivision, "highway work zone" means a segment of
highway or street where a road authority or its agent is constructing, reconstructing, or
maintaining the physical structure of the roadway, its shoulders, or features adjacent to
the roadway, including underground and overhead utilities and highway appurtenances,
when workers are present.

(e) Notwithstanding section 609.0331 or 609.101 or other law to the contrary, a
person who violates a speed limit established under paragraph (b) or (c), or who violates
any other provision of this section while in a highway work zone, is assessed an additional
surcharge equal to the amount of the fine imposed for the speed violation, but not less
than $25.

Subd. 5e.

Speed limit on park road.

The political subdivision with authority over
a park may establish a speed limit new text beginnot to exceed 30 miles per hour new text endon a road located
within the park. A speed limit established under this subdivision on a trunk highway new text beginmust
not exceed 55 miles per hour and
new text endis effective only with the commissioner's approval. A
speed limit established under this subdivision must be based on an engineering and traffic
investigation prescribed by the commissioner of transportation and must not be lower than
20 miles per hour, and no speed limit established under this subdivision may reduce
existing speed limits by more than 15 miles per hour. A speed limit established under this
subdivision is effective on the erection of appropriate signs designating the speed limit
and indicating the beginning and end of the reduced speed zone. Any speed in excess
of the posted speed is unlawful.

Subd. 7.

Burden of proof.

The provisions of this chapter declaring speed limitation
shall not be construed to relieve the plaintiff in any civil action from the burden of proving
negligence on the part of the defendant as the proximate cause of an accident.

Subd. 8.

Minimum speeds.

On determining upon the basis of an engineering
and traffic investigation that a speed at least as great as, or in excess of, a specified and
determined minimum is necessary to the reasonable and safe use of any trunk highway or
portion thereof, the commissioner may erect appropriate signs specifying the minimum
speed on such highway or portion thereof. The minimum speed shall be effective when
such signs are erected. Any speeds less than the posted minimum speeds shall be prima
facie evidence that the speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful.

Subd. 9.

Standards of evidence.

In any prosecution in which the rate of speed of a
motor vehicle is relevant, evidence of the speed of a motor vehicle as indicated on the
speedometer thereof shall be admissible on a showing that a vehicle is regularly used in
traffic law enforcement and that the speedometer thereon is regularly and routinely tested
for accuracy and a record of the results of said tests kept on file by the agency having
control of said vehicle. Evidence as to the speed indicated on said speedometer shall be
prima facie evidence that the said vehicle was, at the time said reading was observed,
traveling at the rate of speed so indicated; subject to correction by the amount of error, if
any, shown to exist by the test made closest in time to the time of said reading.

Records of speedometer tests kept in the regular course of operations of any law
enforcement agency shall be admissible without further foundation, as to the results of
said tests. Such records shall be available to the defendant upon demand. Nothing herein
shall be construed to preclude or interfere with the cross examination or impeachment of
evidence of rate of speed as indicated by speedometer readings, pursuant to the Rules of
Evidence.

Subd. 10.

Radar; speed-measuring device; standards of evidence.

(a) In any
prosecution in which the rate of speed of a motor vehicle is relevant, evidence of the
speed as indicated on radar or other speed-measuring device is admissible in evidence,
subject to the following conditions:

(1) the officer operating the device has sufficient training to properly operate the
equipment;

(2) the officer testifies as to the manner in which the device was set up and operated;

(3) the device was operated with minimal distortion or interference from outside
sources; and

(4) the device was tested by an accurate and reliable external mechanism, method, or
system at the time it was set up.

(b) Records of tests made of such devices and kept in the regular course of
operations of any law enforcement agency are admissible in evidence without further
foundation as to the results of the tests. The records shall be available to a defendant upon
demand. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to preclude or interfere with
cross examination or impeachment of evidence of the rate of speed as indicated on the
radar or speed-measuring device.

Subd. 11.

Hand-held police traffic radar.

(a) Law enforcement agencies that
use hand-held radar units shall establish operating procedures to reduce the operator's
exposure to microwave radiation.

(b) The procedures, at a minimum, must require:

(1) that the operator turn the unit off when it is not in use;

(2) if the unit has a stand-by mode, that the operator use this mode except when
measuring a vehicle's speed;

(3) that the operator not allow the antenna to rest against the operator's body while it
is in operation; and

(4) that the operator always point the antenna unit away from the operator and any
other person in very close proximity to the unit.

Subd. 12.

Radar jammer.

For purposes of this section, "radar jammer" means
any instrument, device, or equipment designed or intended for use with a vehicle or
otherwise to jam or interfere in any manner with a speed-measuring device operated
by a peace officer.

No person shall sell, offer for sale, use, or possess any radar jammer in this state.