South Dakota Highway Patrol's Operation Safe for Thanksgiving - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota Highway Patrol holds Operation Safe for Thanksgiving travel

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Millions of Americans got behind the wheel Wednesday, traveling to meet family members for Thanksgiving.   

The South Dakota State Highway Patrol said the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. 

According to AAA, 43 million Americans are traveling this year.  Thirty-nine million will drive to their destination, including 145,000 South Dakotans. 

The South Dakota Highway Patrol also hit the road Wednesday, trying to make sure those drivers make it to their final destination safely through it's program, Operation Safe. 

"They'll be a lot of troopers out on the road today that will be visible. They'll be out enforcing the traffic laws just letting people knows that we're out there," said Captain Kevin Joffer, the Sioux Falls District Commander for the SD Highway Patrol. 

During Operation Safe, the Highway Patrol enhances its presence on the highways and interstates for high travel holidays. 

"Today is a big travel day with Thanksgiving tomorrow…there will be a lot of people that will be sharing the road and we want everyone to be safe and we want to make sure everyone gets there safely, the goal is to be crash free," said Joffer. 

The State Troopers say handing out more tickets is not what Operations Safe is all about. 

"Our goal isn't so much the traffic violations, as is it to be visible and let people know we're there," said Joffer. 

They also want to make sure everyone can enjoy their turkey and time with family on Thanksgiving. 

"This is the time of year when people get together, families haven't seen each other in a while and there's nothing worse than to go to a crash scene and witness injury or even death," said Joffer. 

That's exactly what the state troopers are trying to prevent.   

Other police officers and county law enforcement will also have an increased presence across South Dakota Wednesday, again, just making sure those drivers make it to their families safely this Thanksgiving.

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