PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – South Dakota has recorded at least one highway fatality during every Labor Day travel weekend since 2005, and Gov. Dennis Daugaard is urging travelers to use extra care to end that tragic streak this year.
If every driver makes safe, smart choices, families and friends can celebrate the holiday that marks the unofficial end of summer without grief, the Governor said.
“Safe travel is everyone’s responsibility every day, but it is even more important during a busy time like the Labor Day weekend, Gov. Daugaard said. “Your chances of traveling safely are greatly improved if you follow speed limits, drive defensively in the higher volume of holiday traffic and buckle up.’’
School has just begun in many areas, but the State Fair is in full swing and many South Dakota families use the Labor Day weekend for one final summer-like outing before getting into the swing of the academic year, he said.
“Everyone on the road is safer if every vehicle has a sober driver on every trip,’’ Gov. Daugaard said. “I ask you to join me in making this a Labor Day to remember, not one to regret.’’
During the official travel reporting period for Labor Day in 2012, South Dakota recorded 138 highway crashes with one death and 56 injuries, records from the state Office of Highway Safety show. Records show 2004 was the last Labor Day holiday period without a recorded highway fatality. Since 2004, six of the 17 people who died on South Dakota roads during the Labor Day reporting period were in crashes that involved alcohol.