If you get a stop sign or red light ticket in South Dakota, you’ll likely have to pay a fine. A conviction will also add demerit points to your driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law requires and some of the consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.
(Also, read about the options for dealing with a traffic citation.)
Motorists approaching a stop sign or a signal exhibiting a red light (solid or flashing) generally must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of entering the crosswalk, reaching a limit line, or entering the intersection itself.
As long as there’s no sign specifically restricting it, South Dakota law permits drivers to make a right turn after stopping at a red light. However, drivers need to use caution and follow the normal right of way rules when making the turn.
Some states don’t allow left turns on red, regardless of the circumstances. However, in South Dakota, local jurisdictions get to decide whether to allow left turns on red. In jurisdictions that do allow it, drivers are permitted to turn left after stopping at a red light at the intersection of two one-way streets. In other words, a motorist can make a left on red from a one-way street onto another one-way street.
In South Dakota, a yellow light is a warning that the signal is about to turn red. In other words, you can enter an intersection so long as the light remains yellow.
Stop sign and stop light violations are class 2 misdemeanors in South Dakota. Class 2 misdemeanors carry up to 30 days in jail and/or a maximum $500 fine. However, stop sign and red light violation usually just involve a fine of $120 (including fees)—not jail time.
A stop sign or red light conviction will also add three demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. A driver who accumulates 15 or more points within a one-year period or 22 points within a two-year period faces license suspension. However, eligible motorists may be able to get a restricted license to drive to and from places like work and school.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could lead to a reckless driving conviction. And drivers who run red signals or stop signs while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cause the death of another person could face vehicular homicide charges.