PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Highway Patrol is out in force today (Friday) with a statewide, high-visibility effort to encourage travelers to make safe and responsible decisions on the highways.
Most of the uniformed troopers statewide will be on the highways throughout the day to raise awareness of the need for safe driving as the always-busy Memorial Day holiday weekend arrives. Today’s patrols are called “Operation Safe Summer Kickoff.’’ Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the busy summer travel season on South Dakota roads.
“Our presence on the highways is one more way to remind motorists to use common sense out there,’’ said Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. “Changing driving habits sometimes requires frequent reminders through such efforts as this saturation patrol.’’
The high-visibility enforcement effort is part of the Highway Patrol’s “Drive to Save Lives.’’ The Patrol has joined more than 40 other states in an aggressive, year-long campaign to reduce highway fatalities across the nation in 2014.
In today’s saturation patrol, troopers will focus on discouraging and arresting drunk drivers and enforcing seatbelt compliance. They also will strictly enforce other traffic laws, such as speeding, stop sign and passing zone violations, and failure to abide by the requirements of the move over law.
Their goal is to raise public awareness of the highway laws and of the need for travelers to make safe and responsible choices. The troopers will arrest lawbreakers, but the real goal is education and awareness, not arrests.