New deterrent averted for South Dakota speeders

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 2/1/2012

An effort in the South Dakota statehouse to up the ante on people caught speeding on roadways has been turned back.

The House voted 39-30 to kill a bill that sought to add speeding tickets to the system that gives drivers points on their records for moving violations. Too many points and the worst repeat offenders would have had their license suspended.

“This no longer makes sense,” Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls, told lawmakers during floor debate.

South Dakota law now adds points to licenses for certain traffic offenses. However, since 1986 points have not been attached to speeding violations.

Hickey’s bill – HB1170 – called for imposing one- to three-point penalties, depending on the speed over the posted limit.

Another provision sought to reduce the number of violation points that result in suspension from 15 to 12.

Hickey said that penalty points could help discourage the worst of the worst offenders who continue to speed despite their tickets.

“The purpose of this bill is to slow people down. It’s not rocket science,” he said.

Opponents pointed out that fines and penalties for exceeding the speed limit typically exceed $100.

Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, told lawmakers the hit to offenders’ pocketbooks is “punishment enough.”

“I don’t think we need to add any more regulations onto the citizens of South Dakota,” she said.

To view other legislative activities of interest for South Dakota, click here.

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