I need a new job and you can help. This might sound surprising and my boss' heart just skipped a beat, but keep reading because yes, you read that correctly. I really do want a new job, but it's not what you think. It's not a "Take this Job and Shove It" thing, because I'm very passionate about this job and I love the people I work with. You see, it's all about Vision Zero. Here in Montana, we're on a mission to achieve zero serious injuries and zero deaths on our roadways. And if we succeed in reaching that goal, my job will very likely become obsolete and it will be a glorious day. Then I will need to find a new job. So, won't you help me work my way out of this job?
Now, this endeavor isn't really about my job; it's about safeguarding every life that navigates Montana's roads. It's a collective effort that demands unity and collaboration from all of us. Even if you're the most conscientious driver—always buckled up, obeying speed limits, and driving sober—someone else's recklessness can shatter our life in an instant. It's a grim reality that occurs too frequently, the very reason why I'm still in this position.
This morning I heard on MTPR/NPR, a story by Frank Morris from KCUR in Kansas City.
Kansas City is my old stomping grounds as a former Kansas City Missouri Police Officer. (KC remains close to my heart.) Frank's story was about traffic fatalities. The tragedies spotlighted in the KC area resonate deeply because they echo our experiences here in Missoula. Our news feeds are often filled with heart-wrenching accounts stemming from preventable crashes.
Missoula grapples with an alarmingly high rate of DUI incidents—a problem not unfamiliar to us. As we approach the culmination of our "Let's Not Wreck the Holidays" campaign, aligned with National Impaired Driving Awareness month, it's a poignant reminder of the urgent need for change.
The truth is, when 100% of individuals prioritize safety—when every person consistently wears their seat belt and drives sober—my current position loses its necessity. I eagerly anticipate the day when my boss informs me that my role is no longer essential because we, as a community, have succeeded in prioritizing safety to such an extent that my job becomes redundant.
This goal isn't unattainable; it's a shared vision that demands our continuous dedication and tireless efforts. Together, we can rewrite the narrative of our roadways, transforming them into safe passages where tragedies cease to be routine occurrences. That's the day I eagerly await—a day where our collective commitment to safety renders my job unnecessary, signaling the triumph of Vision Zero.
Here's a link to the MTPR article: https://www.mtpr.org/2023-12-27/u-s-roadways-are-a-little-safer-than-last-year-but-thats-not-saying-very-much