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A 20-year-old man who died after his SUV crashed and burned after going off Highway 4 in July was one of 120 victims of fatal highway accidents so far this year. (RCMP)

The number of people who've been killed on Saskatchewan highways is up 38 per cent this year, with 30 people dying in August alone, the RCMP says.

The police force released year-to-date statistics Thursday as part of a public awareness effort in advance of the Labour Day weekend.

Many people will be on the road, and in past years there have been deaths and injuries.

So far in 2012, 120 people have died on Saskatchewan highways, compared to 87 fatalities at the same time last year.

About 40 per cent of the deaths involved people who didn't wear seatbelts, the RCMP said.

Alcohol, driver inattention and excessive speed are other major factors in the fatalities, they said.

The RCMP says it will be out in force on Highway 16 and the Trans-Canada, starting Friday. The force also says it will have an "enhanced presence" on Highway 7 & 11. The four highways are Saskatchewan's busiest.

Officers will be on the road in marked and unmarked vehicles and on police motorcycles, the RCMP said.