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How Do Work Zones Change the Rules of the Road in Minnesota?

by Apr 4, 2023Criminal Defense Attorney, Sam Edmunds

Work zones are an essential part of road maintenance and improvement projects. However, they can also be a source of frustration for drunk drivers. In Minnesota, we aren’t strangers to road construction. Our weather is to blame for many of the cracks and potholes that maintenance crews must fill in every summer. Additionally, the continuous expansion of our suburbs often leads to the construction of new roadways and the widening of highways.

Work zones in Minnesota are governed by specific rules and regulations to ensure the safety of workers and motorists alike. Here’s more on how construction zone laws change the rules of the road in Minnesota. If you don’t take these factors into account, you risk receiving a ticket or even a criminal charge.

Reduced Speed Limits

One of the most important rules in work zones is the reduction of speed limits. In Minnesota, the speed limit in work zones may be reduced to 45 mph, and it can be even lower. This is to ensure the safety of the workers who may be forced to work in close proximity to traffic. It’s important to note that MN speeding fines in a work zone are typically higher than outside of work zones – and may even be doubled – so it’s important to slow down and stay within the posted speed limit. This not only keeps everyone safe; it also prevents you from paying a costly fine.

Narrowed Lanes

Another common feature of work zones is the narrowing of lanes. This can be due to temporary barriers, cones, or construction equipment that takes up space on the road. It’s important to stay within the marked lanes and avoid drifting into adjacent lanes. This can be challenging, especially in areas where the road is already narrow, but it’s important to maintain control of your vehicle and stay focused on the road ahead. Usually there will be a very narrow shoulder or no shoulder to speak of, so the margin of error is very thin.

Changes in Traffic Flow

Work zones can also lead to changes in traffic flow. This can include lane closures, detours, or temporary road configurations. When a freeway is being expanded, lanes may even weave onto the other side of the freeway. It’s important to pay attention to signage and obey instructions from flaggers who are directing traffic. In some cases, drivers may need to merge or switch lanes more frequently than usual, so it’s important to be patient and alert. Don’t assume that the flow of traffic will be as smooth or as fast as usual; this is one way to end up in an car accident or with a ticket for reckless driving.

Increased Presence of Workers

Work zones often involve an increased presence of workers on or near the road. It’s important to be aware of their presence and to follow any instructions they may give. It’s also important to avoid distractions such as cell phones or other devices that could take your attention away from the road. Striking a construction worker and causing injury can lead to a criminal defense charge, and being distracted or confused is not a valid excuse.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys for Traffic Violations

Work zones are an important part of road maintenance and improvement projects, but they also require drivers to adjust their behavior and follow specific rules and regulations. That being said, construction companies may not always follow the guidelines when directing traffic, parking their vehicles, or working on certain parts of the road. Our Minnesota attorneys and traffic ticket lawyers in Minnesota have seen individuals unfairly charged with crimes or given unreasonable fines due to something that was out of their control. If you’ve been charged with any crime because of your alleged behavior in a work zone – from reckless driving to vehicular manslaughter – we’re here to help. Contact Sieben Edmunds Miller for a free case review and consultation. We can be reached at (651) 994-6744.

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