#BuckleUpBlue4Lauryn: A Ribbon for Teen Driver Safety
In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 16-22, 2016), the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has partnered with the Goldhahn family and the @BuckleUpBlue4Lauryn campaign to share a special message with Montana’s teen drivers and their families.
Fifteen year old Lauryn Kate Goldhahn, a member of the Fairfield Lady Eagle volleyball team, was the passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a rollover accident just 1 mile northwest of town on August 25. Lauryn, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the pickup after it rolled two and a half times before coming to a halt as it struck a power pole. She was thrown a distance of around 50 feet, and suffered some very significant injuries that would eventually lead to her death. Lauryn was transported to Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, and later that night flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. On the night of August 27 at 11:47 PM, Lauryn's doctors pronounced her dead after a series of non-responsive neurological tests. After hearing of Lauryn’s death, the Red Lodge Rams volleyball team started the idea of the #buckleupblue4lauryn campaign. Blue ribbons were handed out at schools and sporting events to be tied on steering wheels of vehicles to remind everyone to buckle-up. This campaign has quickly grown statewide in Montana and neighboring states.
Along with schools, Montana Highway Patrol, local law enforcement, state and federal agencies and organizations MDT hopes to increase seat belt safety with this message among teens (and all vehicle occupants). In 2015 224 people died on Montana roads. In the same year, Almost 80 percent of Montana’s teen crash fatalities were unbuckled. It will take all of us to commit to reaching Vision Zero-zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roads.