Montana Rating: Danger

Montana falls dangerously behind in adoption of Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the 2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front & Rear)
  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • Booster Seat Law
GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL – Stronger Nighttime Restriction
  • GDL- Stronger Passenger Restriction
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
  • Ignition Interlocks for All Offenders
  • All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction
  • GDL Cell Phone Restriction

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period
  • GDL – 50 Hours of Supervised Driving Provision
  • Child Endangerment Law
  • Open Container Law

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

Hot Now: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

In 2017, 25 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in Montana.

The current GDL law in Montana includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 14 years and 6 months for learner’s permit, age 15 for the intermediate stage, and age 16 for full licensure
  • A mandatory 6 month holding period for the learner’s permit stage
  • A minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving during the learner’s permit stage, at least 10 of which must be at night
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 11 a.m. and 5 a.m. during the intermediate stage
  • A passenger restriction prohibiting more than one passenger younger than age 18 for the first 6 months after licensure and prohibiting more than 3 passengers younger than age 18 for the next 6 months after licensure

These changes are needed to improve Montana’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions

  • Require age 16 for entry into the learner’s permit stage
  • Extend all restrictions on teen drivers through age 17
  • Strengthen the nighttime driving restriction for all teen drivers
  • Add a prohibition on non-emergency use of cell phones and other communications devices , including texting while driving, during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages

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