New safety initiative encourages people to buckle up on roads


MISSOULA, Mont. - The Montana Department of Transportation launched a new safety initiative called Vision Zero, which means no highway fatality or injury is acceptable.

People gathered at the University of Montana to learn more about the initiative. Some shared stories on how buckling up their seat belts saved their lives.

Organizers displayed car doors from crashes, to show the force of a crash.

The initiative's purpose is to remind Montanans that buckling up will save lives rather than shatter them.

Troopers, survivors, and one man paralyzed from a wreck urged people to pay attention to their message.

"It's just a bad habit, that's all it is. It takes 2 seconds to buckle yourself up. It's just forming a bad habit of not doing it. You need to form a good habit of doing it," said crash survivor Kolter Beneitone.

Director Mike Tooley with the Montana Department of Transportation says there will be increased enforcement between the months of May and October on the roads. They will continue to put $1.2 million a year into community grants for emergency medical services.

Tooley encourages people to share their own survival or shattered stories on social media, by using the hashtag #VisionZeroMT.