Montana Highway Patrol

Missoula County Sheriff Deputies are warning residents of Horseback Ridge near Missoula to prepare for evacuation in case the fire burning in the area grows.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

Most public safety employees, including sheriff’s deputies, remain on strike in Mineral County today. Sixteen county workers, including jail and 911 dispatch staff started picketing in front of the county courthouse in Superior Monday.

MT Traffic Fatalities Outpacing Last Year

May 24, 2016

The Montana Department of Transportation reports that traffic fatalities are outpacing this same period last year. That’s even before the start to the traditional summer driving season which begins with the Memorial Day weekend.

MDT Director Mike Tooley says as of May 16, 2016, 61 people, or 19 ahead of the same period last year, have lost their lives in vehicle crashes in Montana.

Police Stepping Up Patrols For Saint Patrick's Day

Mar 15, 2016
Police Stepping Up Patrols For Saint Patrick's Day
Cheri Trusler

This Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s one of Montana’s most high-spirited celebrations. So law enforcement is ramping up patrols.

Butte will be the center of attention. That means stepped-up enforcement of impaired driving laws.

Captain Keith Edgell is with Montana Highway Patrol. He says they’re bringing up to 20 additional troopers to the Butte area.

MDT: Safer Roads Require Drivers To Reject High-Risk Behavior

Aug 19, 2015
The Vision Zero Initiative Vision Zero Initiative is aimed at preventing traffic accidents and deaths in dense traffic corridors.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2)

Montana transportation officials say they are taking steps to make the state’s highways safer. MDT Director Mike Tooley says there’s a role for motorists to improve highway safety. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, that means drivers need to reject high-risk behavior.

Expect Extra Holiday Patrols Through Memorial Day

May 18, 2015
An alleged house burglary attempt led to heightened security at a Missoula elementary school early this morning.

Local police, County Sheriffs, and the Montana Highway Patrol are putting extra patrols on the road from now through Memorial Day. State Transportation director Mike Tooley says in the next two weeks, officers around the state are working together to catch speeders and other unsafe drivers.

Lawmakers Will Consider Body Cameras For Police Friday

Mar 19, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Friday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers will discuss body cameras for cops. Democrat Rep. Bridget Smith of Wolf Point is carrying a resolution to study the effects of requiring Montana police officers to wear so-called body cams.

“And we will look into ... the compelling reasons why, this would be good for Montanans.”

But the cost may be too high. A 2014 Department of Justice study says the average price of cameras police stations buy is between $800 and $1,200 each.

Legislator Wants To Ban The Militarization Of Police In Montana

Feb 4, 2015
Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD 14
Montana Legislature

Wednesday, Montana legislators heard a bill that would ban the militarization of police forces in the state. The bill comes after police in Ferguson, Missouri were scrutinized for using armored vehicles and heavy weaponry bought from the federal surplus.

Highway deaths in Montana have dropped by almost 18 percent from this time last year.

The director of the Montana Department of Transportation says that's impressive, but adds that more needs to be done.

Mike Tooley says 132 people have died so far on Montana's highways. Last year, there were a total of 159 fatalities.

Scott Davidson (CC-BY-2.0)

Law enforcement officers from Montana and 14 other states are stepping-up patrols of over 56-hundred miles of highway for the next several days.

I-90 and I-94 are two of the nation's most highly-traveled and dangerous interstates.

From August first through the fourth over the past three years, I-90/94 averages:

Dave Conner/flickr

The Montana Highway Patrol says highway deaths in 2013 increased by 10 percent over 2012 totals, but it’s the statistics within that higher figure which are puzzling troopers.

Vehicle-related deaths on Montana’s roadways, both urban and rural, totaled 224 in 2013—compared with 204 in 2012. Regional Commander for the eastern part of the state, James Moody, said Montana typically has somewhere around 200 highway deaths a year.