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DPS Officials Urge Safe Travel During Thanksgiving Holiday





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Nov. 19, 2018

Contact: Tony Mangan, Public Information Officer, 605-773-6196

 

DPS Officials Urge Safe Travel

During Thanksgiving Holiday

 

PIERRE, S.D. – Everybody seems to be going somewhere for Thanksgiving and the South Dakota Department of Public Safety is urging citizens to get to their destinations safely.

 

Once again this year, the Thanksgiving Day holiday period is expected to be a busy travel period. DPS officials are urging motorists to obey all the rules of the road – especially to slow down, don’t drink and drive, don’t get distracted by electronic devices and for all vehicle drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts.

 

“Alcohol and speed remain the top reasons for motor vehicle crashes in South Dakota and almost 56 percent of this year’s fatalities involved people who were not wearing seatbelts,” says Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety. “These seem like common-sense rules to follow, but unfortunately too many people do not.”

 

Last year, there were 263 motor vehicle traffic crashes in South Dakota during the Thanksgiving holiday. The crashes resulted in three fatalities and 38 injuries. This year’s 102-hour Thanksgiving Day Holiday Period for reporting motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, and ends at midnight Sunday, Nov. 25.

 

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is conducting an “Operation Safe Thanksgiving” effort on Wednesday in an effort to encourage those already out on the roads to be careful. Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, says troopers also will be out on the roads through the holiday weekend as well, enforcing traffic laws and encouraging people to be careful.  

 

“These are the holidays where great memories are made – provided people get to their destinations safely,” Price says. “We know people are anxious to get where they are going; but it doesn’t mean anything if something tragic happens along the way.”

 

While weather is not expected to be a major factor this holiday, Axdahl and Price encourage motorists to watch for possible changing weather conditions just in case. They say travelers should check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or clicking onto http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/.

 

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

 

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