Highway Patrol says safe driving important part of holiday season

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – South Dakota’s Highways Patrol reminds drivers that being safe behind the wheel is also an important part of the holiday season.

The Highway Patrol will conduct an “Operation Safe Christmas ” Wednesday, Dec. 23, and Thursday, Dec. 24, to encourage those already traveling to be careful. Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, said, troopers also will be on the road throughout the weekend.

“There is always so much to remember during the holiday season that  it is easy to forget the importance of being a safe driver,” he said. “But we remind people to slow down, pay attention, drive sober and wear a seat belt.”

This year’s 78-hour Christmas holiday reporting period for motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 24, and ends at midnight, Sunday, Dec. 27. Last year during the Christmas reporting period, there were 45 reported traffic crashes resulting in no deaths and 13 injuries.

Drivers are encouraged to check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or clicking onto  https://sd511.org/.