South Dakota's 'Jim Reaper' commercials to highlight driver safety

Courtesy of Lawrence and Schiller

(KSFY) - The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety is looking to boost its latest campaign by debuting it during the Super Bowl.

The commercials will feature "Jim Reaper," a Grim Reaper-character who safety officials hope will bring attention to driver safety.

“The commercials are humorous, but they also have a serious tone,” says Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl. “We always say that death rides with you on the road. We want people to understand that being a safe driver at all times is important.”

In the commercials, Jim Reaper is dressed in black, carries a scythe and tries to get drivers to do unsafe things such as not wear seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, become distracted while driving and drive after having one too many drinks. At the end of each commercial, the person does the right thing, foiling the Reaper’s plans.

“We may all have been tempted to cut a corner or two as a driver sometime in our lives,” Axdahl says. “But these commercials are designed to make you stop and think. It only takes one bad decision that results in a permanent loss of a loved one or serious injury to you or others.”

While two commercials will air during the Super Bowl, Axdahl says there are eight commercials total that will be used throughout the year.