After decades of ignoring the rights of their ever-growing cycling communities, Montana legislature has finally updated their ancient bicycling statutes that failed to clearly define what rights were afforded to cyclists. Among the changes to the laws include no further requirement for coaster brakes or six-foot orange flags on any road bicycles, two prime examples of how previous Montana bicycle laws showed their age. The updated laws officially went into effect in October and have gone a long way to ensure a safer cycling experience in the state.
What Has Been Updated?
Following in the treads of bicycle laws around the country, a number of amendments have been made, but several key additions have Montana cyclists thrilled.
- A new law clarifies that motorists are allowed to cross the yellow dividing line to pass a cyclist providing that no oncoming traffic is approaching and the cyclist is traveling less than half the speed limit.
- Montana’s old reflector law has been made more flexible, allowing for reflective clothing or material instead of reflectors on the wheels or pedals. However, a head light and rear reflector are still required for night riding.
- Motorized bicycles have been changed to refer specifically to mopeds for a law the specifically bars them from bicycle paths and on sidewalks.
- Among the new reflector requirements, the new law states that a head lamp on the helmet is an acceptable alternative to a lamp on the handlebars.
Although these new laws are a big step in the right direction, bicycle advocates still feel that it is not quite enough. The new laws still neglect crucial safety requirements for cyclists in terms of their interaction with motorist, leaving both open to accident, injury, and tricky legal action. Have you ever had a cycling accident due the negligence or malicious action of another motorist that refused to share the road in the state of California? Then you may be due legal compensation for your pain and medical expenses, contact us today to see what we can do for you.