RAPID CITY, S.D. — Summer time weather brings with it sunscreen, cookouts, and more teenage drivers on the road.
“Of course teens are driving more in the summer, and there is a higher incident of accidents,” said Jane Schrank, the Director of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety’s Driver Licensing Program.
In the past five years, South Dakota has seen 14 teens killed between the ages of 13 to 18 during the summer.
But coming July 1, a new law will change the requirements for South Dakota drivers under the age of 18.
The new law (South Dakota Senate Bill 29), which was suspended until July 2021 by Governor Kristi Noem, extends carrying periods for instruction and restricted licenses and limits passenger loads for drivers with restricted permits.
“They can’t have any passengers outside their household or immediate family, and then after the first six months, they can have one passenger outside their household or immediate family, and it stays that way until they upgrade to full operator license,” Schrank said.
The state is also issuing safety reminders for teens, including obeying the speed limits, putting cell phones down, not driving impaired and always wear your seat belt.
Safety tips and a new law that hopes to save lives.