OPINION: Minnesota driving rules

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There are two road rules in Minnesota (and probably most of the US) that I really like.

The first is that U Turns are legal everywhere. In Sydney (and most of Australia) they are illegal (you cop a fine and lose points).

The second is the ‘Turn right on red’ anywhere rule. This is similar to the ‘Left run on red’ allowance that used to be common in Sydney but has been gradually removed (Chatswood, for example, where we live, used to have many of these, but now hardly any any – for reasons I don’t understand). The great thing about Minnesota is that it is allowable anywhere (ie no signage required), whereas in the Sydney it is only allowable in the few remaining places that have the sign.

Part of the reason that these rules are fine here (warning: completely unsubstantiated opinion ahead) is because of the general attitude of Minnesotans to giving way to pedestrians. This caught us by surprise at first, but I think it is a good attitude. In parking lots, suburban roads and even the streets in downtown Minneapolis, we found that people on foot have right of way. And with no agro from drivers. So, just step out on to the road in a mall car park and cars will stop for you. And they’ll patiently wait. In Sydney, by way of contrast, you’d likely get abused by the driver, or at best a blast from the horn. I like it here better.

4 comments

  • The right turn on red rule was created (I believe) in order to allow motorists to conserve gas during the gas crisis a few decades back. Most States have various implementations of the law. Some, like Rhode Island, allow the right turn only under certain circumstances. I’m rather impatient on the road so this ability is right up my ally!

  • The right turn on red rule was created (I believe) in order to allow motorists to conserve gas during the gas crisis a few decades back. Most States have various implementations of the law. Some, like Rhode Island, allow the right turn only under certain circumstances. I’m rather impatient on the road so this ability is right up my ally!

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