MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana Highway Patrol statistics show Montana continues to be ranked among the top states for motor vehicle deaths per capita. Last year, 204 people were killed on Montana roadways, and 67 percent of those victims were not wearing seat belts.
A safety movement from the Montana Department of Transportation, called 'Buckle Up Montana,' recognized on Thursday the people working to drive those numbers down.
25 emergency responders, law enforcement officers, and community advocates from Ravalli, Mineral, and Missoula County received 'Going the Extra Mile' awards for working to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities in Montana.
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Thomas Gill also nominated 17-year-old rollover survivor Trevor Erickson with the 'Saved by the Belt' award for wearing his seat belt during the crash.
"If we can just get the message out like we're doing today -- wear your seatbelt, it will save lives," said Gill. "Air bags and everything are great, but they're not going to work without the seat belt."
To date in 2013, 216 people have been killed on Montana roadways, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.