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Chapter 169

Section 169.14

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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) 65 miles 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) 70 miles 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) 65 miles 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 or less 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 section, 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. 4a.[Repealed, 1997 c 143 s 20]
    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 is 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 below the established speed limit on an affected street or highway.
(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 investigations.
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 the affected street or highway by more than
15 miles per hour, except that the highway work zone speed limit must not exceed 40 miles
per hour. 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 on a road located within the park. A speed limit established under
this subdivision on a trunk highway is 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. 6.[Repealed, Ex1971 c 27 s 49]
    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.
History: (2720-178) 1937 c 464 s 28; 1939 c 430 s 6; 1947 c 428 s 12,13; 1955 c 802 s 1,2;
1957 c 580 s 1; 1963 c 843 s 1-4; 1969 c 623 s 1; 1975 c 53 s 1; 1975 c 363 s 1,2; 1976 c 166 s 7;
1979 c 60 s 1; 1980 c 498 s 4; 1984 c 417 s 24,25; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 319 s 1; 1991 c 298 art 4 s
9; 1993 c 26 s 1; 1993 c 61 s 1; 1994 c 635 art 1 s 12; 1994 c 640 s 1; 1994 c 645 s 1; 1995 c 118
s 1; 1995 c 265 art 2 s 18; 1996 c 455 art 1 s 5,6; 1997 c 143 s 9-11; 1997 c 159 art 2 s 20,21;
1999 c 44 s 1; 2001 c 213 s 9; 1Sp2003 c 19 art 2 s 27; 1Sp2005 c 6 art 3 s 41,42