Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Dear Trooper Kathy: I know you have gone over this before but now that we seem to be having a "snowy" winter, if I go through the road closing gate, can I get a ticket? Trooper Kathy Says: YES! With the first taste of winter weather, the Minnesota State Patrol reminds you of a few things rules you must follow. When extreme snowfall and loss of visibility make driving dangerous, the state will close roads for the safety of both motorists and snowplow operators. When motorists encounter a flashing sign or closed gate, the road ahead is not safe for travel and they must turn around. Motorists may face a fine if they ignore the gates and the flashing signs. In west central Minnesota, Mn/DOT has installed these devices near Willmar, Clara City, Montevideo, Madison, Granite Falls, Olivia, Redwood Falls, Fairfax, Marshall, Tracy, Pipestone and Slayton. The decision to close a highway is made by Mn/DOT staff, with input from local law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety. Mn/DOT makes every effort to give as much advanced warning as possible when the devices will be activated. Some of the benefits of the non-interstate road closure system are: Clear and indisputable notice that the road is closed Reduced accidents and stranded vehicles Reduction in delays for motorists once the storm is over due to fewer stranded vehicles Ability to clear the roadways faster after the storm because there are no stranded vehicles to work around Remember, the road-closure system is not just to protect the motorists but also is there to protect the emergency service workers: law enforcement, plow drivers, fire and rescue teams, and ambulance personnel-just to name a few. If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please e-mail her at
. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement.