To the Editor:

With the holiday season being upon us, that means extra travel through our beautiful state. Whether it be a road trip to visit family and friends or spending the day close to home with loved ones. There is an increase of vehicles on our roadways. Being a safe driver should be at the top of your list while behind the wheel. Fatal and injury crashes are on the rise here in South Dakota. We want the holiday season to be as enjoyable as possible. That means going to and from your events safely.

I personally have investigated two fatal crashes as well as several serious injury crashes this year. Each fatal crash I’ve investigated this year included an impaired driver due to alcohol and/or drugs. Both were preventable crashes.

Throughout this holiday season, be sure you’re being safe by slowing down, wearing your seat belt, having a sober driver, and save the text message until you get to where you are going. Be courteous to each other on the roadways so that everyone can make the best of this holiday season. Happy Holidays.

Trooper Blake Richters

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South Dakota Highway Patrol