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South Dakota law enforcement to step up efforts for holiday

With the Memorial Day weekend ahead, South Dakota law enforcement officers will be paying particular attention for traffic violations.
Governor Noem is creating job opportunities for more law enforcement in South Dakota
Governor Noem is creating job opportunities for more law enforcement in South Dakota
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 10:57 PM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - Americans are preparing to hit the road in what will be one of the busiest holiday weekends in recent history.

With that, South Dakota law enforcement agencies are stepping up their efforts this weekend to enforce driving laws.

“We are going to see some increased law enforcement out there on the highways, we are going to have some higher staffing numbers than we would typically see out on a routine weekend or weekday,” said South Dakota Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price.

The enforcement will be up for the right reasons, Price says. AAA Travel says expects that 37 million people nationwide are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 60% from last year when only 23 million traveled.

South Dakota is likely to be a destination for many of them.

“We expect quite a large motoring public this weekend,” says Pierre Police Department Captain Bryan Walz. “Depending on the weather, we could see a large amount of individuals on the river, camping, fishing, things of that nature. We do anticipate it to be a lot busier than normal.”

While its always a good idea to wear your seatbelt, wearing it this weekend is a particularly good move to avoid getting pulled over. Officers across the country are taking part in the “Click it or Ticket” campaign, intended to emphasize wearing your seatbelt while in the car.

“Officers will be focusing on seatbelt enforcement during traffic stops, for both adults and children,” said Walz.

Last year, the SD Department of Public Safety reported 116 motor vehicle crashes during the Memorial Holiday weekend, along with 2 deaths and 30 injuries. So far this year, motor vehicle fatalities are up in South Dakota, compared to this same time last year.

“It is really important for people to pay attention, drive slow, wear your seatbelt, and you’ll be pretty well off on the highways from there,” said Price.