Safe driving a priority during holidays

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety reminds people to make safe driving a priority during this holiday season.

Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, said those who are traveling need to focus on their driving first and think about holiday activities later.

“It is easy to get distracted with everything that happens during this season, but if you want to make this time memorable for all the right reasons, you need to focus on your driving when you travel,” he said. “Please remember to slow down, pay attention, drive sober and wear a seat belt.”

The Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies also are participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign that runs now through Jan. 1. The project focuses on keeping impaired drivers off roadways. In South Dakota, the campaign is sponsored by the Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This year’s 78-hour Christmas holiday reporting period for motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 23, and ends at midnight, Sunday, Dec. 26. Last year during the Christmas reporting period in South Dakota, there were 162 reported traffic crashes resulting in two deaths and 139 injuries.

Drivers are encouraged to check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or clicking onto

The Highway Patrol and Office of Highway Safety are agencies of the Department of Public Safety.