Number of Speeding Tickets Rose In South Dakota After Speed Limit Was Increased

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South Dakota had raised its state speed limit from 75 mph to 80 mph almost two years ago, and the number of speeding tickets has since increased.
The news comes as a surprise, because increasing the maximum allowed velocity on a given stretch of a road usually reduces speeding.

This happens because people would get fined for driving just a few miles per hour over the limit, and the increased limit would become more than what most drivers would need for their trips.

However, each random group of individuals will have a few people who are willing and ready to break the rules, no matter how lax they were.

You know the type, the ones who never seem satisfied with what they are allowed to do, and always try to stretch the limits of the “system.”

Just think about those people who go to a track day and go flat out on the first lap, when every track official briefs anyone to use a reasonable pace for the first lap of a given day.

These characters exist in all areas of life, but the analysis of citation data made by Argus Leader is missing a few key facts to determine correct conclusions, and its makers have already noted that they requested clarification from law enforcement officials.

The study we are referring announced that South Dakota troopers wrote 12,585 speeding tickets in the two years before the corresponding limit was increased in the state, and 18,227 citations in the same period that followed the change.

As Brookings Register notes, the surge began on day one, but the South Dakota highway patrol refused to disclose the velocity that motorists were driving when they were fined for speeding.

Because of this vital element, along with the uncertainty of an undisclosed "leeway" before the limit changed, it is impossible to positively affirm that people have begun to drive faster after the state raised its speed limit.

Remember that we exist in the era of “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and other terms for attempts of manipulating the population through “doctored” information.

While it is possible for people in South Dakota to drive even faster than they did before the state’s speed limit was raised, there’s another possibility on the table.

The latter involves the highway patrol officers enforcing the new restriction with maximum vigilance. While they do not have a quota system, the spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety stated that troopers are free to use discretion when they stop motorists, and explained the higher number of tickets due to "hard-working and self-motivated troopers."
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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