News from Chief Matt Andres

Matt Andres, Chief of Police, City of Sleepy Eye

A concerned citizen called about an issue that seems to be increasing on Sleepy Eye streets: Not stopping at stop signs and turn signal non-use. I have a couple of issues that I have noticed as well. This article will be a general reminder of some basic rules on our streets. The laws being broken do make our streets less safe, but they also make driving harder for others. I consider people breaking these basic driving laws selfish and inconsiderate. 

Stopping at a stop sign means, by definition, complete cessation of movement. The vehicle must come to a complete stop. Slowing down and rolling through is still against the law. Please stop and look, once the rolling habit starts it doesn’t take long for the speed of the roll to increase. Not stopping at stop signs has always been a huge issue for me personally and I will stop you every time if I see you while I am on patrol rolling through a stop sign. 

Not using a turn signal can lead to accidents but overall, it leads to slowing down others and creating uncertainty on the roadways. I have never understood this action. It takes no time or effort on your part to use your turn signal. I have always viewed those who don’t use their turn signal as self-centered drivers that have no care for others on the roads. There is no reason not to use your turn signals, you are out nothing by using them. 

Parking on the wrong side of the street seems to be increasing as the weather gets warm here. If an Officer find a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the street a parking ticket will be issued. Please park legally and safely. I have been questioned about this from citizens I have written tickets to in the past for this. Their defense is that the vehicle is in the same place as it would be if it is parked legally. My response is that to park on the wrong side of the street the driver had to drive on the wrong side of the street, violating another driving law. The driver also must break the law again when they leave the parking spot to cross to the correct side of the road. 

I have noticed increased cell phone usage by drivers in the past month. This is just a reminder that holding your cell phone while operating a motor vehicle in Minnesota is a crime. You must be using a hands-free device. 

Overall breaking these laws leads to a less safe roadway. The minute amount of time you may save by breaking these laws doesn’t justify creating an unsafe and inconsiderate environment for others using the roads.