Montana Department of Transportation

Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan

The Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (CHSP) grew out of an existing policy goal described in TranPlanMT, Montana's statewide long-range transportation plan to "Provide leadership and coordinate with other Montana agencies to improve traveler safety." Additional impetus in developing a strategic highway safety plan came from the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), a bill that governs federal surface transportation spending.

In coordination with Vision Zero, Montana's Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (CHSP) has been updated to include a strategic focus on coordinating statewide efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Montana's roads.

An Advisory Committee, a multidisciplinary group made up of individuals with technical expertise and knowledge of Montana's safety issues and represent the four "E's" of traffic safety – education, enforcement, emergency medical services, and engineering worked on the CHSP update development. This plan continues to be data driven and include a 10-year crash data trend analysis to determine emphasis areas with the greatest opportunity to reduce crashes. The federal requirements also require the plan to be developed with safety targets and that strategy progress be reported, tracked, and evaluated.

The CHSP update was developed by the Montana Department of Transportation in a cooperative process with local, state, federal, tribal and other safety stakeholders. It continues to be a data-driven, multi-year comprehensive plan that establishes statewide safety targets, objectives, and key emphasis areas and includes the four E's of highway safety – engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services (EMS). The CHSP will enable coordination of safety programs and partners to work together to cooperatively address safety issues, align goals, and leverage resources to reduce fatal and serious injuries on Montana's roadways.

The CHSP implementation success relies on consultation and coordination with safety stakeholders throughout the state. Momentum is growing among these key people, as well as Montanan's in general, in stepping forward to help reach Vision Zero- zero fatalities, zero serious injuries on Montana's roadways and to ensure all travelers in the state arrive at their destination safely.

CHSP Purpose

Implement a collaborative process to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in Montana utilizing engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response strategies. The CHSP will seek to focus resources strategically where opportunity for safety improvements are greatest.



The MDT developed Montana's Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan in collaboration with other agencies and jurisdictions with roles in highway safety at the state, local and Federal levels as well as Montana's sovereign Tribal Nations. Under the oversight of a multi-agency CHSP Leadership Committee, the development of the CHSP addressed the following objectives:

  • Establish quantifiable safety-related goals, objectives, and performance measures relevant to travel on Montana's highways;
  • Address issues at all levels of jurisdiction with specific attention to local and tribal entities;
  • Establish a mechanism for interagency coordination and develop the necessary partnering processes;
  • Identify candidate safety strategies and evaluate their potential benefits, costs, and ability to attain performance objectives;
  • Establish a process for prioritizing identified strategies based on their likely benefits relative to the identified safety goals and objectives; and
  • Develop a strategic implementation plan, including action items for deployment in MDT's plans and programs as well as by other partnering agencies with roles in highway safety. This implementation plan is defined in the Annual Element of the CHSP.


  • Safety Planner
  • Statewide & Urban Planning
  • 406-444-7646