Seat Belt Laws in South Dakota
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South Dakota laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.
It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that every passenger inside the vehicle is buckled up. That includes ensuring that children less than 40 pounds are secured in a verified child safety seat.
Breaking the South Dakota seat belt law could lead to fines, legal trouble, and even increased car insurance premiums. That’s why the car insurance comparison shopping and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about South’s Dakota seat belt laws.
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What are the seat belt laws in South Dakota?
South Dakota law requires drivers and passengers to be restrained by seat belts while vehicles are in motion.
Seat belts must be worn over the lap and shoulder and tightened adequately. Wearing a seat belt improperly, with the shoulder strap under the arm, for example, is considered breaking the law.
The law also states that children under 40 pounds must be secured in a manufacturer-approved child safety seat. Once they grow out of it, they can then be transferred to a booster seat.
There are some exemptions to seat belt laws. For instance, those with medical conditions that prevent the safe usage of a seat belt. Mail drivers are also not required to abide by the law, nor are owners driving vehicles purchased before federal seat belts became mandatory.
In South Dakota, seat belt violations are not a primary offense. That means you cannot be pulled over for being in violation of the seat belt law—however, if you are pulled over for another offense you may be issued a seat belt ticket.
What happens if you break the seat-belt laws in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, breaking a seat belt law results in a $25 fine.
The state regards it as a petty offense, not a moving violation, so no demerit points will be added to your license. It is the driver’s responsibility to foot the bill if a violation occurs.
Key Takeaway If either you or one of your passengers commits a seat belt violation, you’ll have to pay a $25 fine.
Could it impact my driving record?
Not necessarily. Breaking the seat-belt law won’t add demerit points to your license.
However, since failing to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense—meaning that you have to be pulled over for a more serious violation—it’s quite likely that you’ll be ticketed for something more serious, in addition to your seat-belt fine.
Speeding violations, for example, will impact your driving record.
Either way, minor infractions add up, and a seat belt violation won’t simply disappear from your driving record. Safety issues make law enforcement and insurance companies wary, so it’s best to follow the law—and potentially save lives in the process.
Could it impact my insurance?
A seat belt violation alone won’t have much of an impact on your insurance. Since you won’t pick up any demerit points, there’s no reason for your insurance premiums to increase.
But you still need to be careful. Insurance companies are wary about any sort of violation, no matter how minor. And if those start to add up, you might be in store for a premium hike when it’s time to renew your policy.
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