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Traffic Deaths up 15% in South Dakota

Four of the nine headline stories on the state’s official news page this morning are about fatal car crashes:

News.SD.Gov, screen cap 2023.08.30.
News.SD.Gov, screen cap 2023.08.30.

KELO-TV says the South Dakota’s highways are running redder this year:

If you think there have been more traffic deaths in South Dakota this year, you’re not imagining it.

Deaths from traffic crashes at up almost 15 percent from this time last year. 40 have lost their lives in South Dakota vehicle crashes in the last two months [Cindy Bahe, “SDHP Launches Operation CARE to Decrease Traffic Crash Fatalities,” KELO-TV, 2023.08.29].

Put down your phone, keep your eyes on the road, and slow down!


  1. LCJ 2023-08-30

    Thank you again,Cory. Thank you very much.

  2. John 2023-08-30

    We all pay for permissive helmet laws, lax seatbelt enforcement, and lax dui enforcement. Insurance providers figure those state, and perhaps even localized figures in the algorithm that determines your insurance rate. You pay for their “freedum”. Unfortunately, the legislative knee-jerk response is reducing speed limits – which is similar to the problem solution of – if you have a hammer, then every solution looks like a nail.

    Real solutions would include a massive increase in roundabouts. They are far safer than are normal traffic intersections. “The number of injury accidents in Carmel have reduced by about 80 percent and the number of accidents overall by about 40 percent. Our numbers are similar to those reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.” City of Carmel website. Carmel now has 142 roundabouts.

    Mandatory helmet and mandatory seatbelt laws readily enforcable with $500 first offense fines and $2000 fines on subsequent offenses.

    Dui sanctions that include mandatory confiscation of the vehicle, mandatory open bid sale of the vehicle. Treat the vehicle like burglary tools – the instrument of the crime.

  3. Mountain Springs 2023-08-30

    Or don’t pass a road grader in a no passing zone. 59 yr old woman on a motorcycle did just that this week near Nemo and confronted an oncoming car coming around a curve. Gee, wonder why there was a no passing zone there. Add one more to the count.

  4. Sam 2023-08-30

    Why do we need mandatory helmet laws. It’s usually stupid actions by motorcycle riders that get themselves killed like passing a road greater when they shouldn’t. Don’t punish everybody because some people are just too stupid and should not be on a motorcycle.

  5. Edwin Arndt 2023-08-30

    I am absolutely opposed to seizing a vehicle. Why punish an entire
    family for the misdeeds of one member?

  6. John 2023-08-30

    We chose to kill each other. We chose allowing our highways and roads to be killing machines.
    In the US:
    2 deaths in commercial passenger aviation over the past decade.
    365,000+ deaths, and 2-3 times that number maimed by automobile crashes over the past decade.
    Meanwhile the auto death rate decreased a lot in civilized nations.

    Confiscating burglary tools similarly ‘effects the entire family’ from doing simple home repairs. Show some accountability and responsibility. Confiscate the vehicle in a dui and in cases of reckless driving.. Paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes, ‘we don’t need any more morons out there’.

  7. Edwin Arndt 2023-08-30

    Punish the violator, not the family.
    I do not agree with you, John.

  8. O 2023-08-30

    Edwin, although I tend to agree with you in this context, how often do we destroy families when we incarcerate a father or mother (not just for vehicle crimes)? Think of how it will hurt Donald Jr, Eric, and Ivanka’s ability to be rich children of privilege when their dad goes to jail. (snark)

  9. All Mammal 2023-08-30

    Today is the second full moon during a Blue Moon. Drive safely, and stay off the roads if you can. It tends to get squirrely (when it is that time of the month) for men.

  10. e platypus onion 2023-08-30

    Edwin Arndt
    2023-08-30 11:46

    Follow the gree…er….money bac k to city hall.and the courts.

  11. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    Auto deaths and drunk driving will soon be nearly eliminated by self-driving automobiles.
    The list is lengthy of new ideas that weren’t “liked”.
    As “The Rock” says, “It doesn’t matter what you like …”

  12. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-30

    People in South Dakota drive too fast….period.

  13. Jake Kammerer 2023-08-30

    Yeah, Edwin. Next summer SDDOT plans on re-doing Hiway 385 from Lawrence Co line south past Pactola Reservoir to Sheridan Lake. Going to shut down entire roadway to eliminate some of the rocky curves at south edge of Pactola. You know, straighten it out somewhat so traffic goes faster and thus “hits” (wrecks) harder! All sorts of unnecessary reconstruction.

  14. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-30

    I sell cars, we will never have selfbl driving cars

  15. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    You don’t sell cars. You sell used cars. BTW I’ll wager you went to O’Gorman High School, huh? Did you graduate, Mike?

  16. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-30

    P. Aitch,

    I began my K-12 Education in 1978 at Humboldt School House In Kindergarten, I then attended Jane Adams (1st Gr), then Lowell Elementary (grades 2-6), and then Edison Jr High 1987-90, then Washington High (1990-91), and Graduated from Lincoln High (1991-93). I attended Southeast Technical Institute from 1996 to 1998 taking a 2 year diploma course in Accounting-Finance.

    While I took employment at Kiwanis Car Wash (1993), Pizza Hut (1994-1997), Dakota Auto Parts (1997-98), then Carlisle Plastics (1998-2001), before taking a permanent full time role at Zitterich Auto Repair (2001-2018) becoming the full time permanent Sales, Marketing, Accounting Management for our Family Repair Shop, while in 2016, I went and got my own business license to buy and sell used cars operating my own business to present day.

    While all the minor jobs from 1993-2001 were hourly jobs, at our family business, I was limited partner earning 7% of the Net Sales. I spent pretty my entire life in the automotive business learning the trade from my father from as early as diapers. As a family business, part of my chores was helping to clean the shop, learning to help customers.

    My K-12 Education GPA was 3.74 so I as no slouch in school, I put my studies first, and my favorite classes were Math, History, Civics, and Geography.

    My mom says I have a form of mild autism, so if I seem to repeat myself at times, or stick to the same topic, well, now you know.

    I always try to please everyone, even in selling used cars, which you know are far from perfect, but if I can help that single mother, or that person down on their luck get a vehicle for $1,000 I will do what I can. I found plenty of vehcles at auctions for $300 to $700 where they ran good, transmission shifted fine, but needed some minor repairs here and there. I simply sold them for a $300-500 dollar profit plus having my dad provide me an full service oil change, and inspection, I would sit down with “MY CUSTOMERS” and priortize what repairs are needed over a course of 12 months, allowing them to spend their money as they chose..and so long as they used my dads repair shop, I locked them into a 20% Discount on parts and labor. I tried to be honest, respectful and mindful of what my customer needed. I found a market where I could help people, but since COVID (2020), it has been a challenge, other dealers are just artififically rising the prices, and it makes me upset.

    You may not like my politics, you may not like me as a person, but what you cannot say about me is that I am a bad guy.

    I know I am respected, cause people felt enough about me to nominate me and elect me as their duly elected Precinct Committeeman, and I have tried to be the best voice I can imaginably be – while staying true to my morals, values, and beliefs.

    I am an Anti-Federalist, meaning, my beliefs align with Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Patrick Henry – State Rights.

    I believe we can revolutionary change America, to restore the Republic by avoiding war, and by organizing the people in such manner, that ‘we’ can take back control by using the Precinct Strategy.

  17. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    Who said you were a bad guy?

  18. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    Nice moon. You’re no aho, Mike Zitterich. Stay here and relax. Liberals are good for the soul.

  19. grudznick 2023-08-31

    You’re a bad, bad man, Mr. Zitterich. But stop repeating yourself about precinct nonsense.

  20. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-31

    Grudznick, I love your post, but lets unite for common good, let’s create the “We the People Save the Republic Political Action Committee” shall we, and lets organize the people of all of the 689 Precints, to make better initatives, resolutions, and candidates. Take an Oath to this Creed:

    I, _______________, wholy swear, do take this vow to, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil, to a place of which, we are grateful for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the state of South Dakota.

  21. grudznick 2023-08-31

    Your god drowned in a bowl of cereal, Mr. Zitterich.

  22. larry kurtz 2023-08-31

    Autism is caused by faulty gut/brain connections so genetically engineered sugar beets, infant formula and high-fructose corn syrup contribute to the spectrum in kids and phthalate-laden plastic bottles drive gender dysphoria.

  23. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-08-31

    Well, now that we’re all back on topic, I’d reiterate Arlo’s comment: “People in South Dakota drive too fast….period.”

    I heard, but did not see, an enormous Suburban hit three deer Saturday. The accident was so prolonged and sounded so bad I ran (limped) out of my house, saw the mess on US 385, and called the Sheriff’s office. Unfortunately, the moronic driver was neither killed,nor injured, but the two does and a buck were killed outright. Deer aren’t the smartest animals, but for chrissake, how fast do you have to drive to hit three animals? No skidmarks; the Suburban stopped from sheer inertia, I guess.

    Someone (probably deputies) dragged their poor corpses off to the shoulder, where they STILL remain and decompose stinkily because this is Fall River County; it contracts with a dead animal collection service that might get here this week or next. Maybe. Maybe not. Nobody knows.

    Slow TF down and act like humans aren’t the only species on earth.

  24. jim 2023-08-31

    I live in Sioux Falls and spend a lot of evenings outside. There is a constant roar of speeding cars and motorcycles that has been occurring in the last two years or so. At least that’s the way it seems to me. I can be out on the patio and it takes only a minute or two to hear someone revving their engine and speeding down nearby streets or the freeway. I have a window open and I just heard another one. It’s nine in the morning. There seems to be no attempt by police to curtail it.

    I hear it all over town. I saw the same thing in another SD town just the other day. Five speeding vehicles inside city limits. Racing each other.

    I thought it was my imagination. Maybe not.

  25. larry kurtz 2023-09-01

    What’s your monthly bill for estrogen, Miranda Dave?

  26. Jeff nelsen 2023-09-01

    Speed limit on the interstate is too high. 75mph is more that adequate to efficiently get out of the land of ‘freedom’. And we could start enforcing the posted speed limits on all our roads. The potential for fatal injuries only increases when we drive too fast. And put down the damn phone!

  27. cathy 2023-09-04

    The fatal crashes (and nearly all crahes) in my area are caused by bad driving. Really bad, reckless, irresponsible driving. I see it every day on my daily commute. On top of cell phones and other distractions, no one seems to know what stop signs or no passing zones are anymore.

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