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Highway Patrol looks to curb accidents over Labor Day weekend

South Dakota Highway Patrol cruiser (file)
South Dakota Highway Patrol
South Dakota Highway Patrol cruiser (file)

The South Dakota Highway Patrol will be more visible this Labor Day weekend in an effort to reduce fatal crashes.

Starting Friday Sept. 1, additional local law enforcement officers and the highway patrol troopers will work statewide to remind motorists to drive safe. It's part of Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort, or Operation CARE.

"The goal of the effort is to bring attention to safe driving practices, to put a stop to the current trend of fatalities, and work together to protect all roadway users," said Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller.

So far in 2023, there have been 90 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, with 40 of those occurring in just the past 8 weeks. That puts total traffic fatalities up nearly 15% from this time last year, according to the Department of Public Safety.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is reminding all passengers and drivers to wear a seatbelt, pay attention on the road, obey all traffic signs, and to never drive impaired.

Ryan is the local host of "Morning Edition". Originally from Iowa, he first came to the Black Hills to study at SD Mines. After graduating in 2019, he was an educator in Arizona and North Dakota before returning to the Black Hills.