Traffic Safety Laws in South Dakota

Headlight Laws in South Dakota


Headlights required during daylight.


Headlights must be turned on:

  • From 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • When visibility, due to weather or darkness, is limited to less than 200 ft ahead.

Electronic Device and Texting While Driving in SD

As of July 2020 it is illegal to use a hand held device while operating a vehicle. You can be pulled over by law enforcement for this offense. Any violation of this new law will result in a misdemeanor charge.

South Dakota Child Car Seat Laws

  • All kids under 5 years old and who weigh less than 40 lbs must ride in federally-approved car seat or booster.
  • All kids 17 years old and under must use a seat belt if they are not seated in a safety seat or booster.

Before buying a child car seat, be sure to read our article on How to Buy a Child Safety Seat.

Reporting SD Safety Law Violations

  • Drunk or dangerous drivers: Dial 911 to report a driver you suspect of being drunk or a menace to the road. Try to provide the vehicle's license plate number, make and model, location and travel direction.
  • Unattended children in cars: Call 911 with the vehicle's location and description if you feel the child inside is in danger. Remain with the vehicle until authorities arrive.
  • Unattended pets in cars: If you sense that the pet's health is in danger due to cold or heat, call the local police department or animal control unit.
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