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SD Office of Highway Safety wins national award for "Jim Reaper" campaign

Lawrence & Schiller

The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety is being honored nationally for an ad campaign to get people to drive safely.

The Office was given the Peter J. O’Rourke Award during the Governor’s Highway Safety Association conference in Anaheim, California for it’s “Jim Reaper” campaign started over a year ago.

Tony Mangan is with the Office of Highway Safety. He says residents should constantly be reminded to stay safe on the road.

"Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking it’s going to be their last day," says Mangan. "What this is, is a reminder that one small misjudgment, on error, can not only cause problems for you, whether it’s a serious injury or death, but also for others as well. That’s what we’re trying to get across.”

The ad campaign is a take on the “Grim Reaper” where the character unsuccessfully tries to convince drivers to make poor decisions while driving.

Since the campaign took off in early 2018, driving fatalities have dropped in the state by 45%.