South Dakota Highway Patrol beefs up northwest patrols - KOTA Territory News

South Dakota Highway Patrol beefs up northwest patrols


Cindy Davis

Because of a federal grant, three more troopers will patrol northwestern South Dakota.

The booming oil fields in North Dakota have increased traffic along highway 85 by 70 percent since 2008.

The truck traffic alone has tripled.

So, starting this month, the South Dakota highway patrol will have three additional troopers patrolling all roads that lead north out of Belle Fourche.

The extra eyes on the roads are in addition to the two troopers already stationed in Lemmon, one in Faith, and one in Belle Fourche.

The objective: increase visibility, decrease response time.

"It's not uncommon for troopers that work that part of the state to have to respond 50, 60 or sometimes 100 miles to go to a crash or call for service," explained Captain Kevin Karley, SD Highway Patrol.

Besides the additional troopers in the northwest, Karley says the Motor Carrier services section of the highway patrol has added another trooper who enforces commercial vehicle violations.

And a scale crew out of Belle Fourche has been hired to check trucks along the roadside.

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