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Crime & Courts

South Dakota pedestrian fatalities rise by 80 percent

Distracted Driving

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

More than 3000 people were killed nationally in 2020 due to some form of distracted driving. It's considered an underreported statistic regarding traffic crashes and fatalities. Pedestrian deaths are on the rise as well. Shawn Steward is manager of public affairs with AAA South Dakota.

"In South Dakota, the number of pedestrian-related fatalities rose from five in 2020 to nine in 2021," Steward says. "That's an 80 percent increase in South Dakota, which was the eighth highest in the nation."

April is distracted driving awareness month. South Dakota has what is known as a move-over law, which means drivers must move over a lane or slow down significantly when passing vehicles displaying amber or flashing lights.