Laws and rights of cyclists using roadways
Montana State Law as it pertains to cyclists:
the following has been extracted from Montana
state traffic laws and regulations. For more information regarding these laws, please reference www.mdt.mt.us
61-8-602 Traffic laws applicable to persons operating bicycles:
Every person operating a bicycle shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties
applicable to the driver of any vehicle by chapter 7, this chapter and chapter 9 except as to special regulations in this
part and except as to those provisions of chapter 7, this chapter and chapter 9 which by their very nature can have no application.
61-8-604 Clinging to vehicles:
No person riding upon ay bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach himself
to any vehicle upon a roadway, but a bicycle trailer or bicycle semitrailer may be attached to a bicycle if that trailer or
semitrailer has been diesigned for such attachment.
61-8-605 Riding on roadways:
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "laned roadway"means a roadway that is divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for vehicular traffic;
(b) "roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, including
the paved shoulder.
(2) A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and
place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as neat to the right side of the roadway as practicable except when:
(a) overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(b) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or
(c) necessary to avoid a condition that makes it unsafe to continue along the right side of the roadway, including
but not limited to a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or lane that is
too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(3) A person operating a bicycle upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as close
to the left side of the roadway as practicable.
(4) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall ride in single file except when:
(a) riding on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles;
(b) overtaking and passing another bicycle;
(c) riding on a paved shoulder or in a parking lane, in which case the persons may ride two abreast; or
(d) riding within a single lane on a laned roadway with at least two lanes in each diresction, in which case the
persons may ride two abreast if they do not impede the normal and resonable movement of traffic more than they would otherwise
impede traffic by riding single file and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(5) A bicycle, as defined in 61-8-102(2)(b)(ii), is excluded from the provisions of subsection (2) and (3)
61-8-607 Lamps and other equipment on bicycles:
(1) Every bicycle when in use at night time shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white
light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the front. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of
500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to rear facing reflectors required by this section.
(2) Every bicycle when in use at night time shall be equipped with an essentially colorless front facing
reflector, essentially colorless or amber pedal reflectos, and a red rear facing reflector. Pedal reflectors shall be
mounted on the front and back of each pedal.
(3) Every bicycle when in use at night time shall be equipped with either tires with retroflective sidewalls or
reflectors mounted on the spokes of each wheel. Spoke mounted reflectors shall be within 76mm (3 inches) of the
inside of the rim and shall be visible on each side of the wheel. The reflectors on the front wheel shall be essentially
colorless or amber and the relfectors on the rear wheel shall be amber or red.
(4) Reflectors required by this section shall be of a type of a type approved by this appartment.
(5) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable to the operator to make the braked wheel skid
on dry, level, clean pavement.
(6) Every bicycle is encouraged to be equipped with a flag clearly visible from the rear and suspended not less
than 6 feet above the roadway when the bicycle is standing upright. The flag shall be fluorescent orange in color.
61-8-608 Bicycles on sidewalks:
(1) A person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or acorss a roadway upon or along a croswalk shall yeild
the right of way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
(2) A person may not ride a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across or along a roadwayupon and along a crosswalk
where the use of a bicycle is prohibited by official traffic control devices.
(3) Except as provided in subsections (1) and (2), a person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along
a sidewalk or across a roadway upon or along a crosswalk has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the
Please always exercise caution when riding on public roadways. Highlands
Cycling advocates using an approved helmet at all times! Stay to the far right of the lane
and ride single file as much as possible. As slower moving traffic on the road, we are required to give right-of-way
to vehicles moving faster than us depsite any sense of right of way you may feel you have. Ultimately,
your safety is up to you!
As cyclists, we have rights to use the road. Do not assume that motorists know your rights!
Your safety, and the safety of other riders on the road depends on where you ride on the road and how you interact with traffic.