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Ask a Trooper: Must vehicles yield to golf carts on crosswalks?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota state trooper

Question: When golf carts are using a pedestrian crosswalk, are vehicles required to yield? This happens in some towns where the roadway separates a golf course.

Answer: Unless there is an ordinance or some other special allowance set by local or state officials golf carts are treated as motor vehicles and not pedestrians. Minnesota state statute talks about electric personal assistive mobility devices and how the person operating one has the rights and responsibilities of a pedestrian but this does not include golf carts.

In Minnesota, when traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.

Drivers should try to stop far enough back so drivers in other lanes can also see in time to stop. Also, do not block crosswalks while stopped, and don’t pass other vehicles stopped in these areas.

No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. Pedestrians, don’t count on drivers paying attention — make eye contact with motorists before crossing. Continue to be alert and check for vehicles when walking in a crosswalk.

Just a reminder that anyone who is operating a golf cart under the influence can be arrested for DWI, as it fits the definition of a motor vehicle. The DWI statute says that it is against the law to operate any motor vehicle anywhere in the state of Minnesota.

No matter what vehicle you plan on driving, line up a sober ride before you decide to drink.

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 Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow me on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach me at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us.

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