The South Dakota Transportation Commission is continuing
discussion on whether to raise the speed limit to 70 mph on some rural
four-lane highways in the state.
At a recent meeting in Pierre, SD, commissioners decided to
postpone the vote so they can collect more information on how South Dakota
compares with neighboring states on speed limits and highway safety statistics, The Associated Press reported. They are expected to take up the issue again
at an Aug. 25 meeting.
A Federal Highway Administration official urged the state
commission to be cautious in raising speed limits on rural four-lane roads. The
official, John Rohlf, told commissioners higher speeds combined with
slow-moving farm equipment would cause safety problems on the rural divided
South Dakota legislators approved a bill this year allowing
the commission to decide if it’s safe to permit drivers to travel faster than
65 mph on four-lane state highways that are not part of the federal interstate
The speed limit on Interstates 90 and 29 in the state is 75
mph, but reduced to 65 mph through cities and towns.
The commission is considering raising the speed limit on
U.S. Highway 83 between Pierre and I-90, U.S. 12 between Aberdeen and I-29,
U.S. 37 between Mitchell and Huron, U.S. 50 between Yankton and Vermillion, and
U.S. 79 between Rapid City and the Nebraska border.
In return for higher limits, anyone exceeding 70 mph on the
affected stretches would be subject to a $200 fine and/or 30 days in jail.