Ask a trooper: Pass vehicle on right only in a bypass laneE-mail email@example.com 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: With school starting, my question is, when is it legal to pass a school bus on the right while on a two-lane road? Because of the number of people who pass on the right, I am concerned about being a bus driver.
A: I am not sure if you are asking what you meant to ask, but answering what I see here, the only time a driver can pass any vehicle on the right on a two-lane road is when there is a bypass lane provided. That’s it, period. Special penalties exist for school bus violations, depending if the stop arm is out, which side of the bus the vehicle passes on and whether children are exiting the bus or not at the time. Those are very serious violations and those drivers should be reported as soon as possible. No one can pass on the right using a shoulder (paved or unpaved) or a turn lane, ever.
Q: I was wondering if it is illegal for cars that are stopped at a stoplight to block business entrances and/or private driveways or if they should leave an opening for other cars to enter or leave the entrances.
A: The current law specifically addresses intersection gridlock for streets and highways.
Drivers can’t proceed into the intersection until you are sure you can get all the way through if the light should turn red, so you are not stuck out in the middle of the intersection blocking traffic.
As far as business entrances and private driveways, there are so many of them in the preceding area of stoplight or semaphore systems that I don’t even know if it is possible or practicable to keep every single driveway or business entrances clear. If you can keep them clear, that is good, but it may not always be possible due to the amount of traffic. So no, it is not necessarily illegal in all cases. Whenever we can all work together, things go a lot smoother.
Q: As a former driving instructor, I always taught my students that when parking on a city street their vehicle is to be parked facing the flow of traffic. However, as I drive around town, I see more and more cars parked facing into the line of traffic. Is there a law, or just a rule as to the proper way to park? If there is a law on the proper way to park, I feel vehicles parked facing the wrong way should be ticketed. What is your
A: My opinion is that my opinion does not matter. It appears that you have been instructing the students correctly. When drivers cross the center line and the opposing lane of traffic to park on the other side, it is against the law and dangerous. They also have to cross the opposing traffic again when they leave that parking space. You can talk to your own law enforcement agency and make them aware of specific areas where this seems to be occurring, and perhaps they will watch for it. As an officer of more than 30 years, I have always appreciated tips from concerned persons such as you. Thanks for asking and good luck.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.