Ask a Trooper: No explanation for removed signsE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: We live in rural Hibbing on the north side of State Highway 37 about 1.5 miles east of the intersection with State Highway 169. This stretch of highway has a 55-mph speed limit and a wide blacktop shoulder on both sides.
When driving home from the west and approaching our driveway, we begin to slow down and use the left turn signal well in advance. In most instances, other vehicles coming up from behind use the right shoulder to speed past.
Our concern isn’t so much about the driver right behind us, but about the other drivers farther back who are tailgating and don’t see our brake lights or blinkers until the last second. Because of this, we’ve had several close calls of being rear-ended.
At one time, “No passing on shoulder” signs were posted on both sides of this stretch of Highway 37. They served as both a warning and a precaution, and provided a safer exit for anyone turning left off the highway and into their private driveways or onto the Tapala or North Salmi roads.
No one understands the rationale of having those signs removed. Maybe you can find us an answer.
A: That is a good question for Minnesota Department of Transportation. I contacted them a few weeks ago for you. They investigated their records and just got back to me. They said they could not find a specific reason for it, but they believed it occurred several years ago. That is all I can come with for you on this one.
Q: I was stopped and my breath alcohol content (BAC) was exactly 0.08. I requested a repeat test but the officer refused. Both times I had a hiccup during the breath test and my wisdom teeth had been removed not long ago and I was still healing. I had 2 glasses of wine and I did tell the officer the same. What are my options?
A: Attorneys exist to answer questions like that in more detail and I am assuming you were arrested. Now you can contest it in court (with or without an attorney) or plead guilty. You should know that you do not have to be at or over 0.08 BAC to be arrested for impaired driving.
I have no other facts from your case so I can’t really answer more, (and I am not an attorney so I won’t), except to say that the motoring public needs to start realizing that impaired driving kills and it is a very serious offense.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.