Change in South Dakota Law Hopes to Improve Teen Driving
Teenage drivers in South Dakota, already among the youngest in America, will have to do more behind the wheel before they get their restricted driver's permits.
Beginning next month (July 1), 14-year olds in the state with an instruction permit will need twice as much time behind the wheel before they can proceed to the next level of licensing process.
The new law, passed by the South Dakota Legislature in 2020, will now require young drivers who have successfully passed driver's education to operate a vehicle for 180 days before being eligible for a restricted driver's permit.
The current requirement is 90 days.
On top of that, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety's website says the state is adding a new set of requirements for new drivers that will now mandate a minimum of 50 hours of parent/guardian supervised driving, including 10 hours of which must take place during inclement weather with an additional ten hours coming at night.
The new law will also prohibit passengers outside the immediate/family or household for the first six months driving on a restricted permit, with only one non-family/household member allowed during the second six-month period.
Currently, South Dakota is one of only six states where teenagers can begin driving on their 14th birthday. Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and North Dakota are the others.