Sharing the road: Safety rules for motorists and bicyclists

Posted at 3:54 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 18:20:41-04

BOZEMAN – As the weather warms up, more and more people are deciding to ride their bikes rather than drive a car.

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

When driving a car, you do your best to not get too close the person on a bike; meanwhile, the bicyclist is doing their best to 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.

“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. Stop signs, red lights, yield signs, any of that stuff applies to bicycles the same way as it applies to motor vehicles,” Bozeman Police Sergeant Travis Munter said.

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, Bozeman Police say it’s best to make sure you either have a light or a reflector on your bike so motorists can see you.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News