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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at

Lawmakers Reject Attaching Points To Speeding

A state representative has tried and failed for the second year to add speeding to the moving violations that result in points against drivers licenses. Representative Steve Hickey told the House Transportation Committee that South Dakota drivers can get points for driving too slowly but not for speeding. 
Steve Hickey says the bill he presented this year is a kinder, gentler version of last year’s bill. He says he’s surprised and disappointed that his fellow Transportation Committee members turned down his latest attempt.
“We take drivers off the road for a short period of time who have been wanton " Hickey says. "We’re talking about people who get 15-20-30 tickets a year, and those people exist in South Dakota. So this would have stopped them.”
Hickey says recent statistics show that speeding drivers cause more than two thousand collisions and thirty deaths in one year.
But Representative Lance Russell has strong concerns about the bill and made the successful motion to kill it. He says when he was state’s attorney in Fall River County, people who lost their licenses couldn’t drive to their jobs or take their children to school. He says he doesn’t want working people, especially young people, to face any more hardships.
Russell says current state law has mechanisms for dealing with egregious speeders.
“There were young people—juveniles—that were driving 90 to 100 miles an hour, and some of the magistrates in my circuit would actually incarcerate them for a couple of days in the county jail to get their attention if they were driving at that type of speed.”
He says prosecutors can ask judges to sentence constant violators to up to 30 days in jail. Prosecutors also have the option of charging the violator with careless or reckless driving.