Summer brings more and more people outside for biking and walking, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants motorists to look for pedestrians.

All motorists should anticipate seeing people on any road, and this is especially the case at trail crossings and crosswalks on highways.

One popular destination in particular is Highway 61 on the North Shore.  Drivers should also be especially aware in all areas where pedestrians or bicyclists are crossing the highway such as in towns, near state parks and at Gitchi-Gami Trail crossings.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation offers the following safety tips for both motorists and pedestrians out on the road:

  • When driving, stop for people crossing at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks or stop lights
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians. It isn’t just courteous, it’s the law
  • Slow down and adhere to the speed limit or slower depending on conditions
  • Be alert, especially in residential areas and at intersections
  • For people walking and biking, never assume a driver sees you or will stop
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It can be easy to simply drive along a road, whether it be in Canal Park or somewhere outside of the Northland, and not notice a pedestrian crosswalk right away.  I've also been on the other side where I've been at a crosswalk, about to cross the street when I realized the oncoming car didn't see me or realize they are supposed to stop and let me cross.  They weren't slowing down, so I stopped walking.

MnDOT wants everyone to look out for each other and for drivers to anticipate people and avoid distractions while driving.