Motorist safety has been an ongoing issue in Montana, which is why the state has launched its Share the Road initiative. The idea is simple. Educate the public and instill the concept that motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are all responsible for safety on Montana roads and highways.

Attention and self-awareness are paramount to ensuring the continued public’s safety on roads regardless of how they happen to utilize the road, whether they are in a car or bicycle or just simply walking. It is important that one is always vigilant and has complete situational awareness at all times. When that is coupled with a healthy respect for observing traffic laws, the result will be one of harmony and improved safety for all road travelers who have share the roads.

The goal of Share the Road initiative is lofty but attainable. Formally known as Vision Zero, which means to move towards a status quo that results in zero injuries and fatalities that are attributed to accidents and mishaps on Montana roads.

In order to minimize car accidents and collisions, bicyclists should be aware that if they wish to travel at speeds that are comparatively lower than normal traffic speed that they should ride as near to the right side of the road as it is safely possible. This ensures smooth traffic flow and helps curbs inducing potential traffic bottle necks that slow down commutes unnecessarily. This does not apply when the bicyclist is attempting to overtake another vehicle or is preparing to execute a left turn.

Conversely motorists should be cognizant that bicyclists and pedestrians can appear at any time. If it is necessary to overtake and pass a bicyclist then lower your speed and allow for a minimum of between 3-5 feet of clearance between one’s vehicle and everyone else. Resist the temptation to honk when one is in the vicinity of pedestrians and bicyclists unless they are facing imminent danger. Common courtesy goes a long way to help improve the safety of Montana roadways.

Source:, “Share the Road,” Accessed Feb. 16, 2015