This is the first in a series of articles where concerned citizens like you can ask questions of Red Lodge Police Chief Steve Hibler. If there’s anything you want to know about local laws and ordinances or how the RLPD works, please send your question to editor@LocalRag.com.
There are two rules: keep it polite, and don’t dredge up the past. Chief Hibler has only been in Red Lodge for a couple of months, so let’s not ask him to explain the actions of his predecessors.
Q Is there a minimum speed on Montana highways like 212, 78, and 308? If someone is going much slower than the speed limit, are they required to pull over and let other vehicles pass?
A Montana does have a minimum speed law. If you’re going any slower than the posted speed, and you cause a back-up of four or more vehicles, you are required by state law to pull over and let the other vehicles pass. It’s pretty much a courtesy to pull over if you’re backing up traffic at all. Keep in mind that most speedometers are a little bit off.
Q If I hit a deer with my car, and it’s suffering but still alive, am I allowed to shoot it and put it out of its misery?
A Don’t throw it in reverse and back over it again! Call local law enforcement (or dispatch at 446-1234), and they will come out to dispatch the deer for you. You may be allowed to shoot it yourself, but always get law enforcement permission first. There is also a new-ish Montana law which allows you to take the deer, but remember that requires a permit and law enforcement permission. [See the roadkill article in the December 2013 Local Rag]
Q I saw someone shopping in a Red Lodge store the other day and he was wearing a gun. Is that legal?
A The Second Amendment says that you are allowed to carry that weapon in public, as long as you have the proper permits to do so. A concealed carry permit is required only for handguns. Guns may not be carried into schools, churches, bars, or any other place where specifically prohibited. Law enforcement officers are allowed to carry weapons anywhere.