The South Dakota Highway Patrol's "100 Days of Heat'' safe-driving campaign paid off.
Preliminary reports show that from Memorial Day weekend through the end of the Labor Day weekend, South Dakota recorded 50 fatalities as a result of highway crashes.
The average number during the same period has been 61.
"Too many people are still dying and being injured in crashes on South Dakota highways,'' said Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. "However, we experienced a significant reduction this summer compared with the long-term averages, and that is encouraging.
Preliminary reports show that of the 50 highway fatalities, 45 percent were alcohol-related and 16 percent were speed-related. More than half of the people killed in vehicle crashes were not wearing seatbelts. And only one of the people killed in motorcycle crashes was wearing a helmet.