Ask a trooper: Law sets limit on total length for recreational vehicle combinationsE-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. Read past columns at duluthnews tribune.com.
Q: What is the legal length of towing a pickup truck, a fifth wheel camping trailer and a boat?
A: I believe you are asking about the special recreational vehicle combinations. According to 169.81 Subdivision 3 (c) (2), the combination cannot exceed 70 feet in length.
Q: As I travel in other states and through construction zones, many states give the speed limit and the warning that the fines double, but then they add the wording: “when workers present.” I don’t see the wording “when workers present” on Minnesota signs. When driving in Minnesota work zones when no workers are present does the work zone speed limit double fine apply?
A: No. M.S.S 169.14 subdivision 5d(e) clearly states that, “For purposes of this subdivision, ‘highway work zone’ means a segment of highway or street where a road authority or its agent is constructing, reconstructing, or maintaining the physical structure of the roadway, its shoulders, or features adjacent to the roadway, including underground and overhead utilities and highway appurtenances, when workers are present.”
The next part of that subdivision talks about the fines in that situation being higher, (so by statute, it’s only when workers are present that the fine is higher).
In part, here is how it is worded in subdivision 5d(f): “......a person who violates a speed limit established under this subdivision, or who violates any other provision of this section while in a highway work zone, is assessed an additional surcharge equal to the amount of the fine imposed for the speed violation, but not less than $25.” So essentially, the base fine is doubled, but again, only when workers are present.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.