Posted: Friday, 31 August 2012 9:35AM
Highway Patrol out in force this holiday weekend
South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers will saturate state roads today in a high-visibility operation aimed at reminding travelers to play it safe during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The “Operation Safe’’ saturation patrol, involving virtually all uniformed members of the Highway Patrol, is the final major push in a summer-long education and enforcement campaign called “100 Days of Heat.’’ The Highway Patrol, the Office of Highway Safety and law enforcement agencies across the state have made safe travel the focus of the summer-long campaign.
Statistics from the state Office of Accident Records show that about half of South Dakota’s traffic fatalities occur during the summer months. Each year, the holidays with the most car accidents are Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day – a span of time that covers nearly 100 days.
Director of the Office of Highway Safety Lee Axdahl says the focus of “100 Days of Heat’’ has been on drunk driving, speeding and seatbelt use, which are major factors in many injury and fatal highway crashes.
Labor Day weekend is the last big holiday of summer, and traffic is expected to be heavier than normal. Highway construction season is still underway, and motorists should also use extra care as they travel through work zones.