Speeding Tickets in South Dakota

Read about South Dakota’s speeding laws and the consequences of getting a speeding ticket.

South Dakota has two types of speeding laws: “absolute limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of a speeding violation.

(Also, check out our articles that discuss the different types of speeding laws and ways of fighting a speeding ticket.)

Absolute Speed Limits

There's nothing tricky about how South Dakota’s absolute speed limits work: If the absolute speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you’ve violated the law. Unless otherwise posted, South Dakota’s absolute speed limits are:

  • 15 miles per hour in school zones when children are present
  • 25 miles per hour in urban areas
  • 55 miles per hour on most township roads
  • 65 miles per hour on most other state highways and roadways, and
  • 80 miles per hour on interstate highways.

(S.D. Codified Laws §§ 32-25-1.1, 32-25-4, 32-25-7, 32-25-9.2, 32-25-12, 32-25-14 (2017).)

Basic Speeding Law

Notwithstanding the absolute limits, South Dakota’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed that is “greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.” In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it’s dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

(S.D. Codified Laws § 32-25-3 (2017).)

Costs of a Speeding Ticket

Speeding is a class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota. For a violation, the driver will have to pay a fine plus court fees. Generally, the total of these two amounts is:

  • $85 for exceeding the speed limit by one to five miles per hour
  • $105 for exceeding the speed limit by six to ten miles per hour
  • $125 for exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 15 miles per hour
  • $145 for exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 20 miles per hour
  • $165 for exceeding the speed limit by 21 to 25 miles per hour, and
  • $200 for exceeding the speed limit by at least 26 miles per hour.

However, fines for speeding violations in construction zones are doubled. So the total amount the driver pays will be more than that for other speeding offenses.

(S.D. Codified Laws § 32-25-19.1 (2017).)

Reckless Driving and Vehicular Homicide

Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. Generally, reckless driving carries up to a year in jail and/or a maximum $2,000 in fines.

Traffic Violation Points

A speeding ticket typically will not add points to a motorist’s driving record.

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