The South Dakota Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to be safe behind the wheel throughout this holiday season.

The Highway Patrol is conducting an “Operation Safe Christmas ” campaign Wednesday and Thursday to encourage those already traveling to be careful. Colonel Rick Miller, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, said troopers also will be on the road throughout the weekend.

Miller said that drivers need to remember 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 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 24th and ends at midnight, Sunday, December 27th.  Last year during the Christmas reporting period, there were 45 reported traffic crashes resulting in no deaths and thirteen injuries.

Drivers are encouraged to check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or checking out the state’s website –