About the Program

What is Vision Zero?

man in hunter orange putting on seatbelt

Vision Zero is an ongoing statewide collaboration, which strives for the goal of zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana's roadways.

How is MDT working toward the Vision Zero Goal?

Montana's focus on Vision Zero uses zero as the ultimate goal, because any death on our roadways in unacceptable. Montana's Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (CHSP) is MDT's plan for achieving that vision. MDT works with hundreds of agencies and organizations across the state in a collaborative partnership, implementing strategies to reduce highway crashes, injuries and fatalities.

The CHSP's approach to improving safety on our roadways is comprehensive and focuses on the four key traffic safety disciplines known as the "4Es":

Vision Zero focuses on:

  1. Education through training programs and activities, public information, and traffic safety outreach campaigns,
  2. Enforcement of Montana's traffic laws and deterrence including changing driver's understanding of law enforcement, prosecution and adjudication penalties, and the impact on victims and survivor families and friends.
  3. Emergency medical response to support the essential role of emergency services in reducing severity of injury outcome and to ensure technologies and systems are adequately funded and equipped to respond to crashes.
  4. Engineering of Montana's roadways to ensure best practices are implemented and maintained with safety as the priority.

Safety Partners collaborate to reach Vision Zero

MDT and safety partners work together to reach Vision Zero by analyzing crash data and focusing on crash factors where there is the greatest opportunity to save lives in Montana. The four emphasis areas identified through the data driven CHSP process are:

Roadway Departure and Intersection-related Crashes, which considers FHWA's Proven Safety Countermeasures to reduce roadway departure and intersection-related fatal and serious injury crashes.

Impaired Driving, which considers NHTSA's Countermeasures That Work and focuses on addressing driver behavior.

Unrestrained Vehicle Occupants, which considers NHTSA's Countermeasures That Work, and focuses on both driver and passenger behavior.

Emergency Response – After-Crash Care, which focuses on the reduction of morbidity and mortality of Montana motor vehicle crash victims.

Multiagency collaboration, coordination, and communication work is being done within these four emphasis areas, and progress is being made to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. For more information on the CHSP strategies and countermeasures see the: Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan

Vision Zero Campaign Messaging

As part of the Education focus, MDT promotes the Vision Zero message through federally funded (NHTSA) media campaigns to reach motorists of all ages during the state's busiest and deadliest travel season — from May through October, and at other high-risk times, such as the winter holidays. Placed statewide, digital, radio, TV and social media placement of these campaigns will remind the traveling public to always buckle up and drive sober.

Learn more on the Imagine if every Montanan had just one reason for using their seat belt

Buckle Up

Every year in Montana, thousands of lives are affected by seat belt use. Many lives are tragically lost or significantly changed because people do not buckle up, but even more are saved because they do buckle up when traveling in a vehicle. Achieving Vision Zero in Montana begins by ensuring that every person buckles up - every trip, every time they get in a vehicle.

If you need more reasons to buckle up, look at the numbers below and think of the lives - the men, women, children, families, and friends - needlessly impacted in the past decade (2010-2019)*.

  • Unrestrained occupants in vehicles accounted for 49% of all roadway crash fatalities, and 29% of all serious injuries.
  • Nearly 700 ejected fatalities occurred, with more than 3 out 4 people ejected in a fatal crash dying from their injuries.

For more information on vehicle occupant safety, including keeping children safe, visit Buckle up Seat Belts

Planning a Sober Ride Saves Lives

Wearing seat belts saves lives. Planning a sober ride does too. Over the past 10 years, more than 1,000 people have died, needlessly, in vehicle crashes involving an impaired driver. Planning for a sober ride is every motorist's responsibility, and don't be afraid to ask when you need one! Whether it's a parent, partner, friend, or even a grandparent, your loved ones want to see you arrive home safely.

The numbers below are a very solemn reminder of the devastating impact of impaired driving and reinforce the importance of planning for a sober ride. In the past decade (2010-2019)*:

  • Impaired driver involved crashes have accounted for 60% of all crash fatalities and 33% of all serious crash injuries.

For more information on sober rides and safe driving, visit Don't drive impaired

*MDT 2020 Fact Book

Vision Zero Campaign Photos

Share Your Story!

Help Montana reach Vision Zero. Always wear your seat belt. Do you have a story about a seatbelt saving your life or a family member's life? Share it on our Facebook page or to MDT Instagram.