7-600 Traffic Law Enforcement
7‑601 TRAFFIC STOPS (06/24/88) (02/01/20)
A. Initiating a stop
When making a traffic law enforcement (TLE) stop, the initiating squad shall:
1. Notify the dispatcher of the location of the stop and the license number of the vehicle being stopped and initiate a call for service in accordance with P&P 7-100 Communications.
2. Request a back‑up unit or roll‑by assist from the dispatcher, if one is needed or desired.
· It is no longer a Department procedure to automatically start a roll-by or back‑up to a TLE if the stop is made by a one officer (able) squad.
B. Equipment violations
1. Issuing a Lights ON! Coupon
All MPD employees conducting motor vehicle stops for equipment violations shall issue a Lights ON! Coupon in Lieu of traffic citations, when available and applicable. If a Coupon is issued, then the officer shall advise the driver or recipient of the location in which the repair can be made.
a. Applicable violations
Lights ON! Coupons can be issued for the following equipment violations;
· Turn signals
· Rear lights
· Rear license plate lights
· Parking lights
b. Coupons not available
If Lights ON! Coupons are not available, but the incident meets the Lights ON! Criteria, the officer shall:
· Advise the driver of the equipment violation,
· Provide a Blue Card to the driver, and
· Advise the driver to bring the Blue Card to the nearest precinct to get a Lights ON! Coupon.
2. Incidents involving other violations
a. Other equipment violations
If the incident does not meet the criteria of the Lights ON! Program, the officer shall advise the driver of the equipment violation, subject to the following exception:
i. The driver may be cited or charged by complaint in incidents where an equipment violation on a motor vehicle resulted in a motor vehicle crash or harm to another.
b. Non-equipment violations
i. This policy does not limit the ability of officers to arrest individuals who have committed a criminal offense or have any outstanding warrants.
ii. If the incident involves a non-equipment violation, the officer shall still advise the driver of the equipment violation and issue a Lights ON! Coupon when applicable, in addition to any other actions taken during or in relation to the stop.
3. Public safety risk
If the officer feels the equipment issue poses an unreasonable risk to public safety, the officer shall advise the driver to park the vehicle and get the issue resolved prior to driving the vehicle again.
4. MDC Clear-Form
Officers shall complete the coupon section of the MDC Clear Form by selecting Yes, No or Not Available.
5. Coupon supply
Lights ON! Coupons will be stocked at each precinct. If no coupons are available officers shall contact the Commander overseeing the Procedural Justice Division to request more.
Uniformed officers will draw their citation books from the division in which they are assigned. Other officers may draw books from any division normally charged with the responsibility of issuing citation books. (04/01/93)
All traffic tag books are obtained by the division, precinct or unit through the MPD Supply Room. The officer shall also fill out the green receipt of acknowledgment from the tag book and deposit the form in the precinct tag box. (04/01/93)
After a tag is written, the first copy shall be deposited in the precinct tag box by the end of the officer’s shift. The last copy is the officer's. The officer may use the reverse side of the last copy for personal notes. (04/05/05)
When a traffic tag is issued, the defendant should be made aware of the violation and how to proceed in processing the tag.
Officers shall use Minnesota state laws when enforcing all vehicle, parking and driving violations. The only exceptions shall be for miscellaneous city ordinance violations that are not covered under state law. State statute numbers can be found on the State Statute Traffic Card (MP-6202).
A CAPRS report shall be completed in the following circumstances:
- When a suspect is arrested/booked for a traffic offense.
- When a suspect is given a citation for Careless Driving, Reckless Driving, or a violation of the Open Bottle law.
- When a citation is issued at an accident.
- On all citizen arrests.
- Any unusual charge or situation which needs explanation.
Suspects of felony vehicle operation or drivers in fatal or critical injury accidents shall not be given citations. In such cases, officers shall detail the offenses in their arrest reports or statements.
Arrest reports and reports for seizures of personal property shall include rationale and legal justification for the initial stop, as well as justification for any subsequent search/seizure. If an in-custody arrest is made versus issuing a citation, the reason(s) for the in-custody arrest shall be documented in the corresponding CAPRS report. (08/01/08)
7-605 CHEMICAL TESTING - DRIVING VIOLATIONS (10/05/01) (08/21/03) (09/26/16)
Citizens observing violations of the law have the right to make an arrest. When an officer is unable to take enforcement actions but feels that a citizen can, that officer shall inform the citizen how to make a citizen's arrest. Once the arrest is properly made, the officer shall follow Department arrest procedures. On all arrests for traffic violations, officers shall make out the proper form stating the facts as related by citizens. Officers may also note other items of which they are aware. A copy of the Citizen's Arrest Form should be attached to the reporting form.
7‑607 PARKING VIOLATIONS (09/14/18)
A. Under normal conditions, all existing parking regulations will be enforced with reasonableness and impartiality.
B. Supervisors shall be responsible for parking enforcement in their precincts, and Watch Commanders will ensure citywide compliance.
C. Towing shall be done in accordance with P&P 7-700 Vehicle Impounding and Towing.
D. Winter Parking and Snow Emergencies
1. Snow emergencies are declared by the City Engineer and the Chief of Police and last 72 hours. Streets posted as snow emergency routes shall have enforcement action taken to ensure proper plowing.
2. When the Winter Parking Restrictions are in place, as declared by the City, all vehicles parked in violation of the Restrictions shall be tagged.
3. Vehicles parked in violation of Snow Emergencies or Winter Parking Restrictions shall be towed using an “Immediate Red Tag Tow,” in accordance with P&P 7-703 Towing Procedure- General.
An officer requesting that a traffic/parking charge or citation be dismissed by the City Attorney's Office shall submit a completed Recommendation for Dismissal of Traffic Charge form (MP- 6104) to their immediate supervisor. The dismissal form will include the vehicle license number or the City equipment number with a complete description of the incident. Traffic/Parking citations will not be dismissed for personal or monetary considerations. If approved, the supervisor shall sign the form and forward it to the Traffic Unit supervisor. If the Traffic Unit supervisor approves the request, the form will be sent to the City Attorney’s Office.
When issuing a citation for this type of violation, all officers must indicate on the bottom of the citation the number of such temporary signs located in the block in which the enforcement action is taken.
Licenses confiscated for false identification or evidentiary purposes shall be property inventoried and the appropriate CAPRS reports shall be completed.
An officer, who believes that any driver should be reevaluated because of physical defects or improper driving ability may make such a recommendation to the Driver License Evaluator from the State of Minnesota. Recommendation for testing may be accomplished by using the available box on accident reports and/or completing a "Request for Examination of Driver" Form.
Squads are calibrated annually. Officers appearing in traffic court relative to a speeding tag based on a speedometer clocking shall bring a photocopy of the calibration card for the vehicle, which can be obtained from the Police Equipment Specialist. Officers will need to provide the P# of the vehicle. (11/06/07)
All speed measuring devices shall meet or exceed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards. Operators of the devices shall be trained, certified and operate the devices consistent with NHTSA standards and Minnesota POST Board guidelines. (11/02/95)
Radar units shall be tested and calibrated at the Public Works Radio Shop once a year. The calibration and testing procedures for daily use will be followed by officers using the units to ensure proper performance on a daily basis. Units that do not perform properly will be taken to the Radio Shop for repair/replacement with an accompanying memo detailing the deficiencies. Other speed measuring devices will be tested in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation. (07/23/97)
Semi-annual mileage checks shall be conducted at the precinct, unit and division levels. The mileage checks shall be conducted by the Commander, Unit Supervisor or their designee. Mileage checks shall be conducted during the months of April and October of each calendar year and will be due in the Police Equipment Specialist’s possession by April 30 (April's report) and October 31 (October's report). (04/29/93) (11/06/07)
Mileage Check forms are available from the Police Equipment Specialist. (11/06/07)
Last updated Feb 3, 2020