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Buckle Up, Montana: Law Enforcement Increasing Patrols for National Mobilization

Montana Law Enforcement Is Increasing Patrols In Valley County And The City of Glasgow

Local law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol are increasing patrols and presence during the end of May and beginning of June as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s “Click It or Ticket” Enforcement mobilization.

While non-seat belt use is a secondary offense in Montana, wearing a seat belt is still required by law.

Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to increase your chance of survival in a crash, reducing the risk of death for a front seat occupant by about 45 percent per the National Safety Council.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, and the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) remind all Montanans to buckle up as they start the busy summer travel season – every person, every trip, every time. Increased patrols and enforcement of seat belt laws will be underway across the state to ensure the safety of all road users. Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, MHP, and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) are committed to the Vision Zero initiative, aiming to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Montana's roads.

Montana law requires all vehicle occupants to be properly restrained with a seat belt. The average number of unrestrained vehicle occupants involved in a fatal crash is 47 percent (2016-2020), with 76 percent of those crashes being a single vehicle crash.

"Buckling a seat belt takes less than two seconds," said, Undersheriff Chris Richter with the Valley County Sheriff’s Office. "It's a simple yet crucial step towards safety for both drivers and passengers. Our priority is for you to arrive safely at your destination every trip, every time.”

Of the 108 unrestrained vehicle occupant fatalities in 2020, 62 percent were partially or completely ejected from the vehicle they were traveling in. Seat belts have a proven track record of keeping occupants inside the vehicle, which in turn increases the likelihood of survival in a serious crash.

Montana law requires all children under age six and weighing less than 60 pounds to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat. NHTSA recommends keeping children in their car seats for as long as possible before moving them to the next type of car seat. Many children are not tall enough to graduate from a booster seat to a lap and shoulder belt alone until they are at least 4’9” tall, which is about eight years or older.

"Please make a habit of always buckling up," said Chief Robert Weber with the Glasgow Police Department. "For those driving with children, it's essential to model positive behavior by buckling up before starting the car. This encourages them to adopt the habit, fostering their own safety as they grow up."

Montana Department of Transportation — Vision Zero

This is a Vision Zero message from the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and educational campaigns are strategies to reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. For more information about Vision Zero, contact Janet Kenny, Montana Department of Transportation, 406-444-7417 or [email protected].


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