South Dakota’s 2019 traffic deaths may be state’s lowest

January 28, 2020 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Public safety officials say South Dakota may have recorded its lowest number of traffic deaths in state history.

So far, 102 traffic fatalities have been recorded for 2019, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said Tuesday. Since the department began keeping records in 1947, the previous low was 111 fatalities in 2011.

Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price announced the preliminary numbers during a presentation at the House Transportation Committee meeting. While the final numbers may still change, officials believe 2019 will set a new record low.

Price said officials are encouraged to see that their safety measures and enforcement efforts are “having a big impact across South Dakota.” But Price says “even one roadway death is too many,” and that officials will continue working to drive the number of road deaths down.

Price says South Dakota’s safety efforts are being helped by the public making better driving choices coupled with enhanced vehicle safety and road designs.

In 2018, South Dakota recorded 130 fatalities.