Ask a trooper

Question: During the last snow storm I went in the ditch and got stuck. I wanted my friend to come with a tow rope and pull me out. The officer that was there said that was not allowed. What is the deal with that?

Answer: It is illegal in Minnesota for the public to use the highway or right-of-way if it may cause a danger to other motorists.

Generally speaking, a tow rope requires the tow vehicle get momentum in order to pull the other vehicle out of the snow, mud, etc. This could send either or both vehicles out of control and into traffic.  Busy highways, poor road conditions, weather, limited visibility, and many other safety factors create too much risk.

It is important to leave these types of situations to professionals who are equipped with emergency lights as well as cables and winches that allow for control and stability of the vehicle’s removal in a safe and timely matter.

Law Enforcement works crashes, spin outs and other incidents to help protect the people involved, their property and all of the motoring public.  We don’t want to see good Samaritans get hurt along the way.

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 Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,


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