Governor asks travelers to put safety first

Gov. Dennis Daugaard is urging South Dakotans to be safety-conscious as they travel this Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend.

Last year, for the first time in a decade, South Dakota had no highway fatalities during the Thanksgiving Day travel reporting period.

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, a chance for us to reflect on the many blessings in our lives,” said Daugaard. “Let’s all take responsibility for traveling safely and make this a holiday we’ll remember, not one we’ll always regret.’’

Thanksgiving weekend is the start of a long holiday season. That means more activities and sometimes more stress, along with heavier than normal traffic. The Governor asked each traveler to put safety first on the highway.

“Always wear a seatbelt, obey the posted speed limits and avoid distractions as you drive,’’ Daugaard said. “And, please, have a sober driver behind the wheel every trip. Don’t drink and drive. There’s simply no excuse for an alcohol-related highway crash.’’

South Dakota recorded 225 highway crashes during the Thanksgiving Day reporting period in 2012. No one died in those crashes, but 48 people were injured. Fifteen of the crashes were alcohol related. The national Thanksgiving Day holiday fatality reporting period this year runs from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec, 1.

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