ABATE Success- Increased Penalties for Negligent Driving Effective August 1st

ABATE of Minnesota is proud to announce that our “Reckless Driving” legislation that we have been working on was signed into law by Governor Dayton. This law will take affect August 1st, 2015, and it will give prosecutors the option of charging “Reckless Drivers” who kill or cause great bodily harm with a Gross Misdemeanor. ABATE of MN members have worked on this legislation for many years so this is a welcome reward for all of the time, money, dedication, and hard work. ABATE of MN believes this is a step in the right direction towards safer roads.

ABATE of MN worked side by side with Minnesotan’s for Safe Driving, The Bicycle Alliance of MN, and families that have experienced a loss after crashes on our roadways. We would like to thank all of those supporters for their hard work and dedication.

We would like to extend special words of gratitude to Governor Dayton for signing this bill into law, and State Senator Carlson, and State Representative Pat Garafolo for authoring the bill. We also need to recognize Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom for all of his support and guidance on this legislation, we couldn’t have done it without him.

Job well done ABATE of MN members, this is a great victory for our cause. But always remember there are more bumps in the road ahead so we must remain vigilant.  Please let me know if you have any question or comments and thanks for all you do.

Stand and Be Counted,

Todd Riba

ABATE of MN Legislative Director


The following is the definition of “Reckless Driving” in Minnesota state law effective 8/1/15:

(a) A person who drives a motor vehicle while aware of and consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the driving may result in harm to another or another's property is guilty of reckless driving. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard of it constitutes a significant deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

(b) A person shall not race any vehicle upon any street or highway of this state. Any person who willfully compares or contests relative speeds by operating one or more vehicles is guilty of racing, which constitutes reckless driving, whether or not the speed contested or compared is in excess of the maximum speed prescribed by law.

A person who violates paragraph (a) or (b) is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who violates paragraph (a) or (b) and causes great bodily harm or death to another is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.