Do you know what to do when you’re behind a school bus?
What about if you’re alongside a bicyclist?
As a driver, you can’t escape driving alongside different types of vehicles. This is why it’s important to know how to share the road.
And this is why, here, we’re going to talk about the Montana rules of the road. We’ll show you how to share the road with:
- Emergency vehicles
- School buses
- Funeral processions
- Bicycles and motorcycles
- Slow-moving vehicles
Let’s get started.
How to Share the Road with Pedestrians
Okay, pedestrians are not vehicles. However, you will have to share the road with people, too.
For most of us drivers, pedestrians can be a nuisance, especially if they aren’t crossing on a crosswalk.
Newsflash! Drivers always have to yield to pedestrians no matter where they cross. This is because people are the most at risk when it comes to dangers on the road.
Here are other things you need to keep in mind:
- When approaching a crosswalk, slow down and be ready to yield to pedestrians.
- Do not honk at a pedestrian who uses a cane or a guide dog when crossing the street. Honking will only confuse the blind person.
- If you are turning, always watch out and yield to pedestrians.
- You can make a right turn if the pedestrian is still at the far half of the crosswalk.
How to Share the Road with Emergency Vehicles
Emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars, always get the right-of-way.
If you hear any of these emergency vehicles’ sirens or see its flashing lights, move to the right and let them pass. Do not block the road or speed up.
Moreover, you must wait for the emergency vehicle to pass before you go.
How to Share the Road with School Buses
School buses have special rules on the road. Since it carries children that may load or unload, other vehicles are required to take extra caution when driving alongside a school bus.
Here is what you should know:
- When the school bus’ red lights are flashing, it means that it is about to stop. Stop at least 30 feet from the bus until the flashing lights are turned off.
- If you are in the opposite direction from the school bus and there are no barriers between the roads, make a full stop when you see the flashing lights. Wait for the school bus to turn it off before proceeding.
- If there is an island separating the lanes going opposite directions, the vehicles opposite the school bus don’t need to stop when the red flashing lights are on.
Remember that these are laws in Montana. If you pass a stopped school bus, you will be charged with reckless driving and will have to pay a hefty fine of $1,000 and may even have to face jail time.
How to Share the Road with Funeral Processions
According to Montana’s definitions, a funeral procession is when two or more cars, including a funeral lead vehicle and a funeral escort vehicle, carry the deceased person’s remains in broad daylight.
If you find yourself driving alongside a funeral procession, here’s what you need to do:
- According to Montana law, any pedestrian or vehicle that is not part of the funeral procession is required to yield the right-of-way to any vehicle part of the funeral procession.
- Drivers not part of the procession should not cut or drive in between the vehicles part of the funeral procession unless they are instructed by a police officer or are driving an emergency vehicle.
- A driver not part of the funeral procession is also not allowed to enter an intersection when the procession is passing through it. A driver may only pass if it doesn’t cross the path of the funeral.
- Drivers part of a funeral procession should follow closely to the other vehicles. If there are laws regarding safe distances between vehicles, these laws do not apply to vehicles that are part of a funeral procession.
How to Share the Road with Bicycles and Motorcycles
Nowadays, there are more bicycles and motorcycles on the road. These have become a very common mode of transportation, so you can’t avoid them.
And so it’s important to know how to share the road with them.
- In Montana, bicycles are considered vehicles, so they have the same rights as other vehicles. You need to respect that.
- If you are behind a bicyclist or motorcyclist and you need to pass, allow a safe distance between you and them and signal your intent to turn. Do not speed up and pass them immediately.
- Be alert for when a bicyclist will make a turn. Some bicyclists will use hand signals to show their intention to change lanes.
- By law, bicyclists are required to bike farther to the right as much as possible (as long as it’s safe) if they are riding less than the normal speed.
- Drivers in vehicles should yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist on the bike lane.
- Respect bicyclists and motorcyclists. Do not honk or flash your lights at them. Use your vehicle’s signals and do not interfere with them if they are in the proper lane.
How to Share the Road with Slow-Moving Vehicles
Slow-moving vehicles are not vehicles moving at a slow pace. Instead, these have a slow-moving vehicle emblem, which is an orange reflective triangle placed at the rear.
Livestock and horse-drawn vehicles are considered slow-moving vehicles. If you approach these vehicles, slow down and proceed only when it’s safe.
Here are other ways to be safe around slow-moving vehicles:
- If you are approaching a slow-moving vehicle, there’s no need to honk or flash your lights – they won’t speed up anyway since they’re required to drive at a certain pace. Instead, signal your intent to pass and give enough space between you and the vehicle.
- Make sure to check your surroundings before you pass.
- Do not honk at the animals. Wait patiently for them to move.
- If the animals look scared, slow down and prepare to stop. Do not taunt the animals.
Those were the Montana rules of the road. Now you know how to safely share the road with other vehicles.
Keep in mind that some of these rules are law, meaning you will receive penalties if you break them. Other rules are there to simply make sure that everyone is safe.
Despite that, you must follow them all.
Always choose to be a safe and responsible driver!