MISSOULA - Shorter days as winter sets in can make for a dark commute. And if you ride your bike to work, it's important that you are well seen.
The City of Missoula Bicycle/Pedestrian Office, Missoula In Motion, the Missoula Police Department (MPD), and the Missoula Mayor’s Office are resuming a push to increase awareness and enforcment of bicycle safety.
Missoula in Motion and the Bike/Ped Office put 150 light sets into MPD cars for the winter to ensure officers have an easy accessible and immediate solution for cyclists riding without lights. It's the main focus of the Mayor's Bike Light Campaign as it enters its 14th year.
Montana law reuqires every bike to be equipped with a white light in front and a red reflector or light in the back.
"It’s still important to see where you are going but a lot of the safety concerns come from drivers not being able to see bicyclists," Missoula in Motion Program Assistant Jon Sand said.
Mayor John Engen started the Bike Light Campaign in 2006, after a young person who was riding a bike was hit and killed by a vehicle.
“We think bike lights save lives,” Engen said in a press release about the program. “And we know the police see this every day. We’re happy to give them the tools to keep people safe. If we prevent even one tragedy, it’s worth the effort.”
Story updated 11/5/2019 to include additional program information.