Missoula has experienced several tragic car crashes recently, some resulting in deaths, such as those of Chance Geery and Roberta Demmert. Officials with the Metropolitan Planning Organization aim to reduce the numbers to zero fatalities long term, and at least 25 percent fewer severe injuries by 2018.

This effort will begin with a Community Transportation Summit on Thursday, May 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. and will be held at St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 202 Brooks Street. Transportation Planner Dave Prescott says there are four areas of concern that will be addressed at the summit.

"Those attending the summit will break up into groups to discuss four separate issues," Prescott said. "They include crashes at intersections, crashes involving those who are not buckled in, crashes involving young drivers, along with crashes involving drug or alcohol impaired drivers."

Crash data for the Missoula area for the past decade show that the most significant traffic safety issues are the four to be discussed at the summit.

Prescott said work at the summit will contribute to the development of a new community transportation safety plan, and sketch out some effective strategies to help meet those goals.

The public is urged to come and participate in the summit.

Transportation Planner Dave Prescott