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Safety Laws in Montana

Helmets

Motorcycles

Riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet.

Bicycles

There is no statewide bicycle helmet law, but the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) strongly recommends you wear one.

Headlights

Vehicles

Headlights must be used:

  • 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • When visibility, due to foul weather, is reduced to 500 ft or less.

Motorcycles

Daytime headlights are required in Montana. A modulating headlight is permissible.

Bicycles

When riding at night, your bike must be equipped with a front white light visible from 500 ft away, and a red rear light that is also visible from 500 ft.

Cell Phones and Texting

As of October 2013, there are no statewide laws prohibiting cell phone use or texting while driving. However, several municipalities have implemented their own bans on distracted driving:

  • Billings: Prohibits texting and the use of handheld phones
  • Helena: Prohibits the use of handheld phones (this also applies to bicyclists)
  • Missoula: Prohibits texting (this also applies to bicyclists)
  • Whitefish: Prohibits texting and the use of handheld phones
  • Hamilton: Prohibits handheld devices
  • Bozeman: Prohibits texting and hand held phones
  • Great Falls: Prohibits texting and hand held phones
  • Columbia Falls: Prohibits texting and hand held phones
  • Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge: County wide bans on the use of handheld phones

Montana Child Car Seat Laws

  • Kids under 6 years old or weighing less than 60 lbs must ride in a federally-approved safety seat or booster.
  • All other riders, regardless of age, must use a seat belt.

Reporting Drunk or Dangerous Drivers

Dial 911 if you suspect a driver of being drunk or unfit to drive. Provide the vehicle's license plate number, make, model, location and travel direction.

In a non-emergency situation, you may report someone you suspect of being unfit to drive to the Montana Motor Vehicle Division. The more information you can relay about the individual and your relationship to that individual, the better.

In writing:

Motor Vehicle Division
Department of Justice
Scott Hart Building, Second Floor
302 North Roberts
P.O. Box 201430
Helena, MT 59620

By phone:

  • (406) 444-3933

By e-mail:

Unattended Child in Vehicle

Call 911 if you sense that an unattended child left inside a vehicle is in danger. If possible, remain at the vehicle until authorities arrive.

Unattended Pet in Vehicle

Call either the local police or animal control unit if you suspect an unattended pet left inside a vehicle is in danger due to excessive heat or cold.

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