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Patrol Steps Up Efforts After 8 Traffic Deaths

July 3, 2012, 11:35 AM

Patrol Steps Up Efforts After 8 Traffic Deaths
PIERRE, SD -

South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers are saturating state highways Tuesday after alcohol, speed and a lack of seat belts led to a deadly weekend on state roads.

The saturation efforts as people hit the road for the Fourth of July holiday follow a weekend that ended when five highway crashes killed eight people. 

Early reports show alcohol was a factor in two crashes and speed played a role in at least one other.  Two victims also weren't wearing seat belts.

Officials hope having more troopers out in the open will remind people to make safe driving decisions.

"We know holiday traffic will be heavier than normal, and motorists need to be especially vigilant,'' said Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety said in a statement. "But playing it safe is important on every trip. If we all make safe decisions, we can prevent most crashes.''

The Fourth of July is one of three holidays with the most car crashes.

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