South Dakota Laws

The South Dakota Highway Patrol enforces our state’s laws to protect citizens and visitors. Learn about South Dakota’s laws, including new laws designed to protect responders, service vehicles and motorists on our roads and highways.


South Dakota’s Move Over Law

South Dakota Move Over law requires motorists in South Dakota to:

  • Stop when coming from any direction and approaching any stopped authorized emergency vehicle using red visual signals/lights.
  • Move over and slow down when passing any vehicle displaying amber or yellow flashing signals/lights.

The law is aimed at protecting vehicles stopped on the shoulder of the road from being hit by passing vehicles. Protected vehicles include law enforcement, emergency response vehicles, service vehicles (tow trucks, etc.) and motorists experiencing mechanical trouble.

Under this law, motorists on Interstates and other highways with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction as the stopped vehicle must merge into the lane farthest from the stopped vehicle and proceed with caution, unless otherwise directed.

On two-lane highways, motorists must proceed with caution and slow to a speed that is at least 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, or slow to 5 miles per hour when the speed limit is posted at 20 miles per hour, unless otherwise directed.

A violation of this law is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a minimum fine of $270.00 and/or 30 days in jail. 

Failure to move over resulting in a crash with a stopped vehicle using appropriate signals is a Class 1 misdemeanor.  See South Dakota codified law SDCL 32-31-6.2.


School Bus Safety

Coming from either direction, you must stop when you see red signal lights displayed on a school bus. Flashing red lights mean the bus is stopped to either load or unload school children. Minimum distance from the bus when stopped is 15 feet. Failure to stop will result in citation and substantial fine.

Flashing amber lights are the pre-warning that the bus is preparing to stop. Motorists are required to reduce speed to under 20 miles per hour and proceed past the bus with caution.


Motor Vehicle & Criminal Code

Titles 22 and 32 outline South Dakota Motor Vehicle and Criminal Code. Review these laws to protect yourself and others in our state.

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