Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: I was reading your recent article about headlights needing to be on in the fog. I have asked several law enforcement officers about this and I get the same answer about a judgement call. As a commercial vehicle driver, my two biggest gripes are people driving without headlights on when needed and people not using turn signals. Please explain the importance of this.

  Answer: It is extremely important to turn headlights on anytime visibility is reduced. It’s not just so you can see better, but so other motorists can see you. My takeaway from the article was to make it a habit to check your lights often to ensure they are all properly working. When in doubt, turn them on.

  Turn signal use is just as important. Minnesota law states a signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning. A simple yet important task. In my experience, I’ve found people who fail to do this are often distracted, forgetful or an aggressive driver. When I see this, I have a conversation with them along the roadside to educate and encourage them to make safer decisions.

  Each and every time a person gets in the vehicle they have the chance to make smart choices.

• Pay attention.

• Buckle up.

• Drive sober.

• Drive at safe speeds.

  Making these common-sense choices is how good habits are created.  

  A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,