HELENA – The Montana Department of Transportation are remind drivers to take care and share the road with cyclists and pedestrians this summer.
35 million vehicle miles are traveled every day in Montana and the state’s roadways are popular for bicycle tourists.
MDT asks that bicyclists be attentive at all times, wear helmets, use hand signals and ride on the right side of the road. At night bicyclists are advised to wear reflective clothing and use a headlight.
“Never assume a driver can see you,” said State Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator Michelle Wheat, “One of the biggest things people can do is make sure that they are visible.”
Parents are also recommended to set good examples for their children by following proper bike etiquette and road rules.
As for drivers, they should avoid distractions like cell phones or eating and give cyclists or pedestrians at least 3 to 5 feet of space.
According to MDT data, over the last 5 years 72 pedestrians and 8 bicyclists have died on Montana Roadways.
“Motor vehicles are designed with those safety mechanisms in the event of a crash and bicycles and pedestrians don’t have that,” said Wheat, “So when that type of crash occurs between a vehicle and bicycle or pedestrian it could be devastating.”
Wheat added that MDT is committed to Vision Zero and want everyone bicycling, driving and walking to reach their destinations safely.
For more information about bike and pedestrian safety programs MDT offers visit here.