Ask a Trooper: What Mirrors are Required when Pulling Trailer? | Transportation
by Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, Minnesota State Patrol
Question: I am a paramedic, and we see an extreme amount 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 being inattentive) is because they are pulling a trailer and they don’t have the required mirrors 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 & legal mirrors please? Thanks!
Answer: Law enforcement officers and other emergency service vehicle operators experience the exact same thing. You are correct that it is dangerous and it certainly is very frustrating as well.
M.S.S. 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 be out far enough to be able to see down the side of the trailer.
Even though it could be arguable that the “200 foot” requirement may not be enough in some cases, it is still better than not having a mirror (that allows you to see around your load) at all. I suppose there are people who are not aware of the law, but if I were driving a vehicle like that, it sure would be uncomfortable and maybe even a bit scary - not being able 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 there. Don’t forget that all drivers need to pay attention and watch for the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and road construction & maintenance vehicles, so you can slow down and move over as required by the Ted Foss Move Over law on multi-laned roads.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers MN State Patrol P.O. Box 644 Brainerd, MN 56401 or email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask A Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.