SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If you think there have been more traffic deaths in South Dakota this year, you’re not imagining it.

Deaths from traffic crashes at up almost 15 percent from this time last year. 40 have lost their lives in South Dakota vehicle crashes in the last two months. Before more people hit the road for the Labor Day weekend, SDHP will be working with other law enforcement agencies to decrease traffic crash fatalities.

Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort) will be launched September 1st and run through September 4th. Law enforcement will be highly visible reminding motorists to drive safely in order to reduce serious injuries and fatalities.

“The goal of this effort is to bring attention to safe driving practices, to put a stop to the current trend of fatalities and work together to protect all roadway users. In 2023, 90 individuals have already lost their lives to motor vehicle crashes, 40 in the last eight weeks alone. That is unacceptable,” said SD Highway Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Rick Miller. “Those individuals are people’s loved ones that won’t be going home to their families.”

The SDHP wants drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts, pay attention to their surroundings, drive the speed limit and never drive impaired.