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Sharing the road: Safety rules for Montana motorists and bicyclists

Posted at 9:51 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 11:51:22-04

BOZEMAN – More and more people are deciding to ride their bikes rather than drive a car as the weather warms up in Montana.

Sharing the road can be scary for not only bicyclists but for motorists as well.

When driving a car, you do your best to not get too close the person on a bike while the bicyclist should also stay as far to the right as possible.

“In my opinion, I think traffic has gotten a little kinder in the last 10 or 15 years. Bozeman is a big cycling community so there’s plenty of road bikers out there. I think a lot of it comes down to the respect the biker gives the cars,” Owenhouse Cycling Manager Tom Johnson said.

Riding a bike in Bozeman for more than 30 years, Johnson has seen it all. He says it can be scary sharing the roadway, but if you obey the laws as a bicyclist and a motorist, it keeps everyone safe.

Bike Safety
Sharing the road can be scary for bicyclists and motorists. (MTN News photo)

“Basic laws for bicyclists when they’re out in traffic is to follow the same laws as any other motorist or anyone else using the roadways,” Bozeman Police Sergeant Travis Munter explained.

“Stop signs, red lights, yield signs, any of that stuff applies to bicycles the same way as it applies to motor vehicles,” he added

While the sidewalk may seem like the safest place to be riding a bike, the only people allowed to be riding on the sidewalks are children.

“They should be following the laws but sometimes even like a motorist, they don’t,” Munter said.

When riding a bike at night, law enforcement says it’s best to make sure you either have a light or a reflector on your bike so motorists can see you.

The City of Missoula offers up more safety tips for bikers and motorists here.

-Emma Hamilton reporting for MTN News