SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota authorities are investigating three deadly crashes this week. In at least two of the cases, the drivers weren’t wearing their seat belts. Despite the recent trend, the South Dakota Highway Patrol says more drivers are getting the message.
It’s a busy Friday on the roads today as many people are reaching their travel destinations. For Andrea Quick and her family that destination is home after a few days of vacation. But before going anywhere, she makes sure her kids have on their seat belts.
“We always do seat belts. I think based on my age and how I grew up, it’s just always been a habit, and so we always make sure the kids are buckled up and it’s a big deal for us,” driver Andrea Quick said.
In fact, it’s something Captain Jason Husby with the South Dakota Highway Patrol says the department is always on the lookout for.
“Our enforcement continues to be there on the seat belt arena. The troopers are seeing the violations. I have seen some improvement, maybe that’s just optimism, but it does seem like we are seeing more crashes where people are buckled up. We are also seeing a significant reduction in those fatal crashes this year so I really hope that people are getting the message and wearing their seat belt,” South Dakota Highway Patrol, Captain Jason Husby said.
Husby says if you don’t put your seat belt on before getting behind the wheel, it could cost you a ticket.
“Seat belt violation continues to be a secondary offense in South Dakota if you are over the age of 18. If you are under 18 or a child restraint that is a primary offense and any trooper or law enforcement officer can stop you if they see that violation,” Husby said.
Making that just one reason Quick and her kids click their seat belts before getting on the road.
“Super important, in fact my parents live down the street and they’re really good about it now. They’re like, ‘Are you buckled?’ like if the car beeps, and even though it’s not that far, it’s a habit for them to get it on now,” Quick said.
Husby says so far this year, the department has seen a reduction in fatal crashes.