Highway Patrol working hard during holiday weekend - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Highway Patrol working hard during holiday weekend

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While most of us are out having fun on the Fourth, some still have to work.

South Dakota Highway Patrol is one group who's working through the weekend -- to make sure our holiday is a safe one.

"We try to run as close to 100% man-power as much as possible over the 4th of July weekend because it is one of the most heavily traveled weekends or holidays," said South Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Swenson.

He added Highway Patrol is ready to keep the roads safe.

"We're doing what we call an Operation Safe today. We try to do a high visibility patrol. Try to get as many people out on the road so people see us, just as a reminder, if not anything else, to slow down and pay attention to what they're doing," Sgt. Swenson explained.

Even though gas prices are the highest they've been since 2008, AAA estimates over 130,000 South Dakotans will be hitting the pavement this weekend.

Sgt. Swenson said he noticed a more traffic around noon today.

But, Highway Patrol will be out in droves all weekend looking for speeders, distracted and drunk drivers.

"It is a nice day, it's going to be a warm weekend, so people will be partaking in drinking activities, we just ask they have a plan before they start and use a designated driver or stay put," Sgt. Swenson added.

He said Operation Safe isn't just about getting people in trouble, "It's not all about writing citations or taking people to jail, it really is just getting a safety message out there and being visible."

If you're driving down the highway and see a trooper traveling on the opposite side of the road don't think they can't catch you speeding.

They're actually able to use a radar and track your speed as you're both going down the highway.

And if you are planning on being out and about over the Fourth of July -- you'll want to keep an eye on gas prices.

Right now, the average in South Dakota is the lowest in our area at $3.55 a gallon.

Neighboring Minnesota is $3.56 and the highest price in the tri-state region?

Iowa at $3.57 a gallon.


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