Montana Ranks Highest in Highway Fatalities - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Montana Ranks Highest in Highway Fatalities

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS -

A report released from the Reason Foundation ranks the overall quality of Montana's Highway system fifth best in the nation. It's good news, but the Treasure State is down three spots from 2012.

The ranking suffered because Montanans aren't buckling up. "We preach to the public to wear seatbelts. Unfortunately we have a drastic spike in the lack of use in seatbelts resulting in fatality crashes," Montana Highway Patrol Captain Keith Edgell said.

Edgell said traffic fatalities involving people not wearing their seatbelts are up nearly 10 percent from 2012. "Wreck wise we're about where we normally are. We are having more fatalities, because we're having more people ejected from the vehicles for lack of seatbelt use," Edgell said.

Even though the Montana Department of Transportation goes above and beyond to ensure roadways are safe, Montana ranks last in traffic fatalities. Additional troopers are now out patrolling through the weekend to ensure a safer 4th of July week. "We do see additional guys out there which helps with visibility, and that usually curtails people's driving habits when they see the trooper, and not necessarily being stopped," Edgell said.

Captain Edgell said people celebrating the fourth should allow enough time for travel this week. "If you're going to Laurel, you know you're going to be in traffic. Don't become that irate driver while you're out there," Edgell said.

Edgell said troopers are called to several fires near roads this time of year. He said people need to be mindful of the weather and stay safe. According to Captain Edgell, six people, who were not wearing seatbelts, have died on Montana roadways over the week.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Majority of Joyce St. Property Owners Want Road Improvements

    Majority of Joyce St. Property Owners Want Road Improvements

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:19 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:19:23 GMT
    Packed in a local restaurant dining room, property owners along Joyce St., in the Heights, gave the city the green light on drawing up plans to improve their street.Over two dozen Joyce St. property owners showed up. At the end of the meeting, it was suggested a hand raising vote be held to let the city know property owners were serious about the road improvement plans.David Mumford, City of Billings Public Works Director, said in September, there will be a final meeting to get the necessary ...
    Packed in a local restaurant dining room, property owners along Joyce St., in the Heights, gave the city the green light on drawing up plans to improve their street.Over two dozen Joyce St. property owners showed up. At the end of the meeting, it was suggested a hand raising vote be held to let the city know property owners were serious about the road improvement plans.David Mumford, City of Billings Public Works Director, said in September, there will be a final meeting to get the necessary ...
  • Lonnie Bells Rings in His 90th Birthday

    Lonnie Bells Rings in His 90th Birthday

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:30 GMT
    For five decades, Lonnie Bell has been on the airwaves in the Magic City and surrounding area. Bell is a well known disc jockey, with connections to some of country music's biggest names: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Travis, and John Prine, just to name a few.Bell's family and friends came from all over Montana and the country.Bell's granddaughter, Marti Bell said
    For five decades, Lonnie Bell has been on the airwaves in the Magic City and surrounding area. Bell is a well known disc jockey, with connections to some of country music's biggest names: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Travis, and John Prine, just to name a few.Bell's family and friends came from all over Montana and the country.Bell's granddaughter, Marti Bell said
  • Carbon County Fair

    Carbon County Fair

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:21 GMT

    The Carbon County Fair was in full swing Thursday in Red Lodge.

    The Carbon County Fair was in full swing Thursday in Red Lodge.