Highway Patrol warns drivers to slow down during holiday travel

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A lot more people are traveling this Memorial Day weekend than last year. But according to AAA, it’s still fewer people than in 2019.

In KELOLAND many people began heading to their destinations today. So, the South Dakota Highway Patrol is putting more troopers on the road to make sure everyone gets where they’re going safely.

Along with the standard reminders to wear your seat belt, obey the speed limit and don’t drink and drive, the South Dakota Highway Patrol is telling people to pay attention because you’ll likely find yourself in heavier traffic.

They expect lots of campers and trailers as people flood into KELOLAND’s recreational destinations. Sgt. Steve Shade is one of the troopers you might meet out on the road on Memorial Day.

“We also have a border to border operation going on where we are working with the surrounding states also they have more people out on the road the visibility so between that and we have operation safe going on which increases our visibility and gets troopers on the roadway,” said Schade.

How does Operation Safe work?

“It’s just an operation to get guys out on the road, troopers out on the roadway working, we’re pulling people out of the office to get them out working things like that just to get more people out on the roadway,” said Schade.

Victoria Singer is on her way from Illinois to Yellowstone National Park for a family getaway. We caught up with her on I-90 at the South Dakota – Minnesota border.

“So coming so far up this way it hasn’t been heavy,” said Singer.

Sgt. Shade says South Dakota’s 80 mile an hour speed limit can pose a challenge for some drivers, especially those who fudge their speed up a little and don’t pay attention to say someone pulling a trailer.

“If you are doing over 80 and you are coming up on a vehicle doing 70 your closing speed on that vehicle, you may not realize it and coming up on it really fast and you run into the back of them,” said Schade.

Schade says it’s surprising how many times he and other troopers find people going over a hundred miles an hour in the interstates. He says it’s a lot easier for today’s newer cars to creep up there in speed before the driver knows it. And as you can imagine that is a spendy ticket.

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