Speeding Tickets in South Dakota
Absolute Speed Limits vs. Presumed Speed Limits in South Dakota
Burden of Proof and Discovery in South Dakota
Elements of Speeding Violation in South Dakota
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in South Dakota
Legal Procedures for Speeding in South Dakota
Penalties for Speeding in South Dakota
Reciprocity with other States in South Dakota
Speeding Limits for Commercial Vehicles in South Dakota
Vehicle Stops in South Dakota
South Dakota has codified its laws to regulate the state’s speed limits, and establish the punishments for violating those limits. Generally, South Dakota law establishes definitive laws that create maximum and minimum regulations for posted speeding limits (for example, no vehicle may travel on any interstate highway in excess of 75 miles per hour and is prohibited from driving below 45 miles per hour). While the statutes establish the threshold for maximum and minimum speed limitations, discretion is given to the South Dakota Transportation Commission to create the exact speed limits posted within the state. Included with the commission’s power, South Dakota has granted discretion for each county within the state to regulate speed zones for highways and roadways that cross into county lines. The state is required to sufficiently post these zones within the county. In addition to the counties, the Transportation Commission also has the same right to establish speed zones as well.
While discretions for maximum and minimum speeds are established by the state (and posted by the Transportation Commission), South Dakota law has established a policy for safe speed regulations known as “presumed” speed limits. For maximum speeds, the state has stated that in addition to the posted speed limitations, a driver is not to exceed speeds that are reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions. For minimum speeds, the state has stated that, in addition to the posted speed limitations, a driver is not to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. There is an exception for minimum presumed speeds, however, if the reduction of speed is for the safety of other drivers and other vehicles on the road.
State law requires that speed limitations are to be followed by all drivers on state roads. Generally, violation of any of the posted limitations will result in a Class 2 Misdemeanor. The punishments, however, vary based on the circumstances existing at the time of the offense and the individual’s prior traffic record at the time of the current offense. In addition, specific speeding violations have been added by the state’s legislature that may affect the general speeding penalties. Drivers who are “racing” as defined by state law, for example, have harsher penalties than general speeding violations.
Should a person’s speeding go beyond a simple speeding violation, the driver may be faced with a charge of “Careless Driving.” Careless Driving is charged by the state when a person drives a vehicle carelessly and without due caution, at a speed which endangers any person or property, not amounting to reckless driving. If the offense is very serious, the driver may face a charge of “Reckless Driving.” Reckless Driving is charged by the state when a person drives carelessly and heedlessly in disregard of the rights or safety of others at a speed which endangers any person or property. Both Careless Driving and Reckless Driving bring harsh penalties when these laws are violated.