MHP Vision Zero Initiative Targets Speeding, Drunk Driving Over Summer
Summer is quickly approaching and the Montana Department of Transportation's initiative called Vision Zero is finally underway.James Kitchin with the Montana Highway Patrol said almost 50 law enforcement agencies throughout the state are ramping up patrols to enforce Vision Zero and stop behavior that puts Montana drivers and occupants at risk during the start of the busiest travel season.
"We're just going to add some more patrols," Kitchin said. "We're really going after this Vision Zero initiative that was started by MDT Director Mike Tooley. Summer time is coming up, a lot of people are out driving, we're really going to be look at DUI and seatbelt enforcement, and we're going to be putting some extra patrols on the road."
The Vision Zero Initiative began May 7 and is specifically implemented for this year.
"It's a vision that we're all in agreement with on trying to get down the amount crashes, first injury crashes, and fatality crashes across the state," Kitchin said. "Our vision is zero. We don't want to see that anymore. It's one of the bad parts of our job is to have to go out and go on these crashes. We want people to wear their seatbelts, drive responsibly, it's our main vision."
Vision Zero is applied across the state, specifically targeting major arteries such as I-90, Highway 200, Highway 12, and I-93.
Of the total 2,309 Montana highway fatalities in the last decade from 2004 through 2013, 62 percent of these people were either not wearing a seat belt or wearing it improperly.