Ask a Trooper

Question: My husband was driving while I was a passenger and an elder man driving ran a stop sign and cut in front of us. My husband honked his horn to alert the driver prior to him attempting to come into our lane. However, he did not appear to hear us. Fortunately, we were able to avoid being hit, as my husband was an alert driver and saw this coming. Is this something we can report? I am not sure if this man should be driving, as he appeared to have no regard for anyone else on the road. I am not sure what police could have done, as there was no accident or injury. I guess I am curious to know what the protocol is in such a situation.

Answer: This situation is a good reminder of the importance of avoiding all distractions while behind the wheel, as you might see a potential hazard or crash before it happens. Your husband was able to avoid a crash because he was attentive.

If you witness any dangerous driving conduct, call law enforcement and report the incident as soon as possible. Report your location, direction of travel, the driving conduct you are seeing and attempt to get the license plate number. We will do our best to stop that vehicle before anyone is injured. Law enforcement will talk to the driver to determine if they are/were impaired, distracted, fatigued, the reason for their driving conduct as well as if they are valid to drive.

Law enforcement officers can send a request for review to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS-DVS) if they identify a driver who they believe should re-test or be checked by a doctor. DPS-DVS can allow the person to continue to drive with increased limitations such as roadway speed, daylight only, certain times of the day or within a set limit of miles from his or her home. They can also require follow-up doctor’s exams.

Avoiding distractions while behind the wheel will increase your chances avoiding a crash and could save your life. Take driving seriously each time you get behind the wheel.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Troy Christianson — Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848, or reach him at