Police Chief

Ask the Chief

“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 

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May 20

May 20, 2019 - Speed Limit

Posted on May 20, 2019 at 9:24 AM by Kate Berg

May 20, 2019

Ask the Chief

Q: Should a person drive the posted speed limit or keep up with the flow of traffic when it is moving faster than the speed limit?

Image of a speed limit sign above the words "Speed Limit; Keeping With The Flow" and the RWPD

A: Thank you for your question. I can understand the confusion, as it seems the flow of traffic is sometimes faster than the posted speed limit. The speed limit is exactly that: the maximum speed listed for that roadway and law enforcement may stop a vehicle for any speed over that limit. Minnesota Statute 169.14, Speed limits, Zones, and Radar covers speed limits, conditions and exceptions. The law also states that a person has a “duty to drive with due care,” and “no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. Every driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the actual and potential hazards existing on the highway and must use due care in operating a vehicle."

If a roadway is not posted (signs present) with a speed limit, the following speeds apply: 30 mph in urban settings (within city limits); 55 mph in rural settings; 10 mph in alleys.

Minnesota Statute 169.13, Reckless or Careless Driving, is when a person who drives a motor vehicle while aware of and consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the driving may result in harm to another or another's property is guilty of reckless driving. Driving a vehicle at 30 mph over the speed limit is considered reckless driving, along with willfully comparing or contesting relative speeds by operating one or more vehicles is guilty of racing, which constitutes reckless driving. Violation of this statute is a gross misdemeanor.

“Any person who operates or halts any vehicle upon any street or highway carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any property or any person, including the driver or passengers of the vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

The law also allows for arrest and revocation of driving privileges for anyone operating a vehicle in excess of 100 mph.

Speeding is one of our enforcement efforts under Toward Zero Deaths, the State’s Cornerstone Traffic Safety program. In 2017, speeding accounted for 5% of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota.  Slow down and arrive alive.


1. Minnesota Statute 169.14, Speed Limits, Zones and Radars. Located online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2018/cite/169.14

2. Minnesota Statute 169.13, Reckless and Careless Driving. Located online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2018/cite/169.13

3. Toward Zero Deaths, Traffic Safety Program. Located online at: http://www.minnesotatzd.org/

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