SD drivers ignore 80 mph, hitting 88

Published: Jun. 5, 2017 at 2:36 PM CDT
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Statistics show that motorists cited by the South Dakota Highway Patrol are driving at faster speeds since lawmakers increased the maximum highway speed limit.

Lawmakers increased the speed limit to 80 mph (nearly 130 kilometers) in April 2015.

An analysis of state data by the Argus Leader shows that prior to the increase, motorists ticketed in 75 mph zones were on average driving 86 mph. In the 21 months after the increase, the average speed ticketed in 80 mph zones increased to 88 mph.

Supporters of the increasing the speed limited argued that doing so would legalize speeds people were already driving.

But the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says the findings only confirm safety advocates' warnings that higher speed limits would encourage faster driving.