PIERRE, S.D. –South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety is encouraging travelers to get this summer off to a safe start.
This weekend is not only the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but it is also considered the start of summer. That means more vehicles on the road.
“Everybody, it seems, has travel destinations during the summer,” says Lee Axdahl, director of the state Office of Highway Safety. “But, we don’t want the roadway safety details to get lost in the excitement of planning a trip!”
South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers also plan to be out on the highways, making sure motorists are obeying the law. The Highway Patrol is conducting a joint I-90 safety operation with the Minnesota Highway Patrol for a 23-hour period that starts Friday morning and ends early Saturday.
Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, says for motorists, it still comes down to the same safe driving tips:
“Slow down, watch for others, don’t get distracted and wear seatbelts,” he says. “Always take care of yourself and those in your vehicle.”
In 2016, there were no motor vehicle fatalities during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but there were 26 people injured in motor vehicle crashes. Of that 26, 10 were not wearing seatbelts.
Axdahl says the use of seatbelts continues to be emphasized by the Department of Public Safety. He says seatbelts have proven to save lives and prevent serious injury.
“Don’t turn this holiday weekend into a future memory your family dreads every year,” he says. “Make pleasant memories, not tragic ones.”