Speed boosts sought for some South Dakota highways

| 8/31/2005

The South Dakota Transportation Commission says the speed limit on some rural highways in the state should be raised.

The panel voted 8-1 Thursday, Aug. 25 to increase the speed limit to 70 mph on five stretches of divided four-lane highways, The Aberdeen American News reported.

Commissioners’ approval puts drivers in the state one step closer to being able to travel a little faster on U.S. Highway 83 between Pierre and Interstate 90; U.S. 12 between Aberdeen and Interstate 29; State Route 37 between Mitchell and Huron; State Route 50 from Yankton and Vermillion; and U.S. 281 between Aberdeen and state Highway 20.

Speed limits on those roads are now 65 mph.

South Dakota legislators approved a bill this year allowing the commission to decide if it’s safe to permit drivers to travel faster on four-lane state highways that are not part of the federal interstate system.

The speed limit on I-90 and I-29 in the state is 75 mph, but reduced to 65 mph through cities and towns.

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.

The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee will review the speed increase Sept. 20. If given the final OK there, the limits would take effect as soon as Oct. 10.