MISSOULA - If you get pulled over while riding your bike, you might get more than a traffic citation.
For twelve years now, the Mayor’s Bike Light Campaign has partnered with several groups to promote bike safety at night.
The City of Missoula Bicycle/Pedestrian Office, Missoula in Motion and the Missoula Police Department worked together to put 150 set of lights in police cars so that officers can hand them out immediately at night.
Missoula Police Traffic Sergeant Greg Amundsen said a cyclist has to have a light on the front and back of their bike, per Montana state law.
“We have a lot of wrecks at night with bikes. Almost always it is a vision issue, ya know, people can’t see the bicyclist,” he said.
Police officers on patrol now have 150 light sets to hand out as they see people biking without quality lights at night. With that, they might also get a traffic citation.
“So you can hook them around any part of the bicycle that you want too," he said. "Obviously, the white one goes on the front handlebars, and the back one, probably on the seat post or somewhere else on the back of the bicycle."
Missoula mayor John Engen started the campaign in 2006 after a young person was killed while riding their bike at night at the intersection of Beckwith Avenue and Higgins Avenue, according to a statement released by the City of Missoula.
These lights will only be given out by police officers on shift, Amundsen said.