Ask a Trooper: It is illegal to pass on the shoulder?E-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: When a driver is approaching a vehicle from the rear, and that vehicle is making a left-hand turn, is it illegal to pass that vehicle on the right shoulder? So many drivers do this. Please address the dangers of this practice.
A: This is a common question that I have answered many times before. It is not legal. In Minnesota, you can only pass on the right when a lane is provided, like when you are on a multi-lane road or if there is a passing lane. Also, you can only pass on the right during those times when it is safe to do so. When drivers think they “have to” pass on the right or they will rear end the vehicle ahead, then that should be a huge clue that they are driving too fast, following too close, not paying attention or all the above. Those are the people who are aggressive drivers and causing many crashes, injuries and deaths on our roadways.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.