2019 Winner: Montana FCCLA

Peter K. ORourke Special Achievement Awards
Montana FCCLA

The Montana Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) Traffic Safety Program is leading the way in saving lives in rural communities across the state.

Part of a nonprofit national career and technical student organization for young men and women in public and private schools, Montana FCCLA has 65 chapters and over 1,000 members. Through their Traffic Safety Program, they provide unique trainings depending on the grade level of the students, such as using traditional and social media to promote traffic safety in students’ communities and engaging local community businesses and agencies for new and creative ways to promote traffic safety.

Most notably, Montana FCCLA Chapters have provided outreach to rural areas that have had zero traffic safety training in the past. For example, the North Star FCCLA Chapter engaged their schools and communities in a traffic safety month, where each week was dedicated to a different traffic safety issue. This is noteworthy due to most of the students in the school system coming from very rural areas themselves.

Highway safety has benefited greatly throughout Montana from the work Montana FCCLA Chapters have done to promote positive traffic safety culture, which is evident by their lowest number of fatalities in over twenty years last year. On a local level, Montana FCCLA members reported large increases in seat belt usage along with an increased knowledge of the hazards of impaired, distracted and drowsy driving by students in their schools. Funding for this worthwhile program was provided by both Ford Driving Skills for Life and the National Road Safety Foundation.

No other program working with Montana highway safety has impacted teens like the Montana FCCLA Traffic Safety Program, and the benefits will be seen for years to come.