Highway Patrol encourages safe holiday driving

PIERRE, S.D. – With more people traveling this week for the Thanksgiving Holiday, the South Dakota Highway Patrol reminds drivers that it is even more important to stay safe.

“Thanksgiving is a major travel holiday and that increases the chances of motor vehicle crashes,” said Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “When driving, remember to stay focused;  slow down, pay attention, drive sober, and wear a seat belt. You can think about the holiday and all that good food when you are not driving.”

As part of its holiday safety efforts, the Highway Patrol will conduct a statewide “Operation Safe” Wednesday in an effort to encourage those already traveling for the holiday to be careful. Troopers also will be out on the road throughout the weekend.

The 102-hour holiday reporting period for motor vehicle traffic crashes begins at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 24, and ends at midnight, Sunday, Nov. 28. Last year in South Dakota during the same reporting period, there were 198 crashes resulting in 27 deaths and no fatalities.

While the weather should be good for travel, drivers are encouraged to check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or click onto sd511.org.

The Highway Patrol is an agency of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.