9 South Dakota Driving Laws that Might Surprise You
9 Driving Laws in South Dakota that Might Surprise You, Some You Didn't Know Existed
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There are some things you can do on South Dakota roads that you may have once thought illegal but aren't.
Like, can you ride in the back of a pickup, or drive barefoot in South Dakota?
While perusing the South Dakota Department of Public Safety I was reminded of a few things. Things that have come up in conversation quite often. Here are a few to ponder:
1. Did you know that even though the interstate speed limit was increased to 80 mph, the minimum is still 40 mph? It seems ridiculous that the minimum speed is half the speed limit. If you choose to sight-see at 41 mph, you will no doubt get quite a few honks and nasty looks along your pleasant little drive - but you're legal. I will say, however, the safest thing to do is to keep up with the traffic around you if you are able.
2. Someone once told my wife that driving barefoot is illegal. To be honest, I thought the same. Well, it's not. You're totally within the law to drive a motor vehicle in South Dakota without shoes on. Like Fred Flintstone???
3. Okay, but wearing headphones while driving is most certainly illegal...right? Nope. Wearing radio headsets while operating a motor vehicle is okay. That one is hard to believe. Wouldn't it make sense to need to hear sirens or train horns?
4. Did you know that turn signals are required by law? It's true. Some folks think blinkers are a courtesy and can be used when they feel like it. Not cool. If your blinker fails to work you are required to use a hand signal.
5. Transporting an open alcoholic beverage in a car is illegal - unless it's in the trunk and away from the driver and passengers - then it's legal.
6. Did you know it's perfectly legal to drive in the left lane of the interstate all the way to your destination? I never understood why people like it there. But it is totally legal.
7. At this time in South Dakota it is totally fine to use your cell phone while driving. Although it is recommended to use a hands-free device talking on your cell phone with one arm up to your ear is legal. However, many states are requiring hands-free now so I wouldn't be surprised to see this change soon. Texting? That's a different story. That is illegal while driving.
8. Did you know you are totally within the law to pull your camper AND your boat behind your vehicle at any time in South Dakota? As long as you are not exceeding 75 feet in length go ahead, play "highway train" if you'd like. Good luck in the Arby's drive-thru.
9. Finally, and this is been brought up several times, it is legal for your passengers to ride in the back of a pick up truck. However, the South Dakota Highway Patrol strongly discourages this practice because of the danger to the passengers. After all, there are no airbags or seat belts back there so just...no.