Ask a Trooper: Vehicle side mirrors
By: From Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, Minnesota State Patrol, Lake County News Chronicle
Vehicle Side Mirrors
Question: I am a paramedic, and we see an extreme number of vehicles failing to move over for us when we are coming up behind them. One big reason for them not seeing us (other than inattentiveness) is because they are pulling a trailer and don’t have the mirrors required to see around their trailer or load. This is very dangerous for everyone and frustrating for us, so can you talk about vehicles having adequate and legal mirrors please? Thanks.
Answer: Law enforcement officers and other emergency service vehicle operators experience the same thing. You are correct that it is dangerous and very frustrating as well.
Minnesota Statute 169.70 says in part, “.....Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the drivers a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle”. So, we can plainly see that the side mirrors might be needed and should extend far enough to enable the drive to view the side of the trailer.
It could be argued that the 200- foot requirement is not be enough in some cases, but it is still better than not having a mirror at all. I suppose there are people who are not aware of the law, but if I were driving a vehicle like that, I would find it uncomfortable and maybe even a bit scary – to be unable to see around the load/trailer, and I wouldn’t like that at all.
Thanks for bringing this up so we can get the message out to people. Don’t forget that all drivers need to pay attention and watch for the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and road construction and maintenance vehicles, so you can slow down and move over as required by the Ted Foss Move Over law on multi-lane roads.