The numbers are in and they added up to more than one thousand stops by South Dakota troopers on the state's highways in one day.
“We had a strong contingency of troopers out as well that were working over the fourth of July,” Capt. Kevin Joffer with the South Dakota Highway Patrol said.
The Highway Patrol's Operation Safe campaign focused its efforts on July 3. It put troopers out in highly visible situations. But it wasn't enough to stop everyone; 260 tickets and nearly 780 warnings were given to drivers on the state's highways.
“[We try to] keep the highways safe, focus on speed, DUI, try to educate people as we encounter them too on seatbelt usage,” Joffer said.
Operation Safe falls within the department's “100 Days of Heat” campaign where troopers target drunk driving, speeding and seatbelt use. Joffer says a big part of that is also education.
“If they've developed some bad habits along the way, maybe we can draw attention to things before they get out there that we are out there,” Joffer said.
Highway Patrol troopers also helped out nearly 50 stranded drivers during Operation Safe and want to remind drivers of the state's move over law. If you do see anyone stopped along the roadside, slow down and move to the farther lane if possible.