Safe Youth Mobility Grant Results: Montana

Image of people with text reading keep our communities safe. Buckle up.
Resource Type
State Highway Safety Showcase

In Montana, Native Americans comprise 6.2% of the population but account for approximately 17% of the state’s motor vehicle crash deaths each year. A closer look at the data, reveal that Native American drivers 20 years of age and younger are involved in 30% of these fatal crashes. 

To tackle this issue, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) developed the "Safe On All Roads" (SOAR) traffic safety program, which is managed by coordinators living in Tribal communities.

Through a GHSA and Ford Driving Skills for Life, the MDT established a teen peer-to-peer program that provided Tribal youth the opportunity to produce traffic safety messaging campaigns specifically for their communities. This is critical because Native American teens learn to drive at an earlier age due to the vast distance between home, school, work and other destinations in Montana. 

A poster of a person holding a phone

Description automatically generatedProject Overview

The MDT provided $3,000 grants to six SOAR Coordinators to work with Tribal youth to develop peer-to-peer campaigns in their communities. The SOAR Coordinators provided guidance to the students who developed campaigns based on their community’s needs. The resulting activities included schoolwide traffic safety assemblies, Pow Wows, rodeos, presentations at Tribal Council meetings and a poster contest. 

Ongoing Impact

The project reached more than 3,000 students increasing their awareness of local traffic safety issues. The MDT continues to collaborate with the SOAR Coordinators to provide the resources to help them engage Tribal youth to conduct peer-to-peer safety initiatives.

Resource Category
State Highway Safety Showcase