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Hickey: Restore Driver’s License Points for Speeding Tickets

Last updated on 2013.01.23

The bill isn't in the hopper yet, but Rep. Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) is working on legislation to return speeding tickets to the driver's license points system. Right now, if you speed in South Dakota, you get a ticket, but you don't risk losing your driver's license. You get points against your license for drunk driving, reckless driving, drag racing, and other unsafe behavior, but not speeding. The good Hickey proposes a point system under which five speeding tickets in one year or eight speeding tickets in two years could result in having to hitch a ride to work.

I might suggest that Rep. Hickey risks nanny-state criticism from his conservatives who say the government has no business telling decent citizens what to do with their own feet in their own vehicles. But Rep. Hickey doesn't care to joke about speeding. He tells the Rapid City Journal that his father was killed by a chronic speeder in 2002.

Rep. Hickey also tells RCJ that his speeding-points bill has nothing to do with famous South Dakota speeders Bill Janklow and Kristi Noem. Indeed, under Hickey's proposal, neither Janklow nor Noem would have yet accumulated enough points within any one- or two-year period to be forced to ride horse to work.

But Rep. Hickey's bill does have just a little something to do with Janklow: it would repeal the law Janklow signed in 1986 that removed speeding from the points system. Hmm... repealing something Bill Janklow did... could this be the first legislative signal that the Janklow era is over?


  1. John Hess 2012.01.02

    As it should be. Wonder how he feels about banning texting. Seat belts are mandatory, so why not save some more lives?

  2. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.02

    I support this 100%. I was surprised at how much speeding occurs out here in D.C. (even by the police). The District has resorted to using speed cameras to enforce the law (it has certainly stopped speeding along the stretch of I-295 I live by, which is nice. Speed cameras in SD would certainly drum up nanny-state criticism from conservatives :)

  3. Owen 2012.01.02

    I believe that it should count toward point system. Good bill by by Rep. Hickey.
    But does this mean that Rep. Hickey is one of those liberal Republicans? Hmmmmm

  4. Michael Black 2012.01.02

    If you are under the age of 16 and you have ANY moving violation you lose your privilege to drive for one month.

  5. jana 2012.01.02

    Good for Pastor Hickey...I like the bill.

  6. Steve Hickey 2012.01.02

    The Janklow era will be over when our usury laws are reined back in. Even so, you make an interesting observation though none of that motivates me. We are praying for Bill. He contributed to my campaign. Kristi Noem is a good friend.

    In November 2002 my dad was standing in the roadway at dusk in Hutchinson County talking to a guy in a grain truck parked on the road without tail lights – a local lead foot didn't see him until it was too late - they calculated he was going 67 mph, 12 over at point of impact. The road looked like a deer was gutted and bled out. The next day it took a fire department and a road sweeper to remove the blood from the road. I couldn’t drive at night for 3 months because I kept seeing people standing in the road. It was a horrible way to lose my dad.

    Not fishing here for you or anyone to feel bad for me just want to make the point that, to my family’s chagrin, the guy didn’t slow down in the years since – speeding tickets -- he did lose his license last year due to a DUI.

    One guy wrote me and said this will cost people their jobs as they can’t get to work. On one level I pick a life over a job but really, there will be very few people lose their license as they’d have to get 5 max violations in one year to lose their license. If they want to keep their job, slow down. This bill is not retroactive. If they continue to speed, they will reap what they sow and I'm sorry if that means they can't get to work. I'd rather my kids have a grandpa then some guy keep his job. Honestly, it is bizarre that speeding is excluded as you can lose points for going to slow, running a stop sign, etc, etc. There is no reason to exclude it.

    So far it seems law enforcement is neutral on this change. This isn't nanny state stuff - laws that save lives are important. No one I talk to can really figure out why speeding was excluded in 1985 except people just grin and say “Bill Janklow wanted it.” Typically one can follow the money but in seeking a fiscal impact, so far all I get is it's pretty unknown, probably negligible. In any case, I’m dead set against taxation by citation so if we are letting people speed because the state needs money, I don’t know, God help us.

    Fun facts: When I was 16 my license was suspended for too many speeding tickets within a six month period. Though it hit my pride, riding the school bus again was good for me, and my girlfriend didn't seem to mind hauling me around. The lesson was learned as I slowed down and have had three citations in the twenty-nine years since; one in SD, two in Minnesota (on the same stinking day).

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.02

    Someone actually told you this bill would cost jobs? Oh, I can't wait to hear a legislator try to make that argument publicly. Thank you, Steve, for sharing your stories. It may be just as useful to hear your story of your own license suspension at 16 as it is to hear the tragic story about your dad.

  8. troy jones 2012.01.02

    Representative Hickey,

    I would greatly appreciate a chance to visit with you about our usury laws. :)

  9. Steve Hickey 2012.01.02

    Happy to meet with you Troy.

  10. Les 2012.01.02

    Rep Hickey, Call or meet with former state treas Richard Butler, Faith SD if you want to understand the fight to reign in usury laws.

  11. Nick Nemec 2012.01.02

    Rep. Hickey, please target the payday loan lenders that are proliferating across our state. They are a scourge on working people and take advantage of the people who can least afford them.

  12. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.02

    This is a great blog story. It involves actual players who have the power to make a difference with historical data backing up solid reasoning behind the motives.

    KFYR radio, Bismarck ND, had two South Dakota bills they talked about this morning. One was Governor Daugaards request for a balanced budget amendment from the legislature and the other Rep. Hickey's speeding point accumulation bill idea mentioned here.

    I would not say a fine imposed for breaking the law already on the books could ever be stated as nanny state-ism and as far as that goes reckless driving can be described as drag racing, drunk driving, or speeding so the fines should go up accordingly. What does the third DUI cost in relation to the first? Obviously speeding and drunk driving both kill innocent people.

  13. john 2012.01.02

    Thanks Steve this is a Bill that everyone can support!

  14. mike 2012.01.02

    I feel bad for Rep. Hickey. This is a good bill. I have my doubts that it will slow people down though.

    If the guy who killed Hickey's father didn't slow down he likely wouldn't care if he had a liscence.

    Some people are only focused on what they want when they want it.

  15. mike 2012.01.02

    By the way I don't think Herseth or Varilek could have come up with a better bill to go after Noem than this.

  16. Les 2012.01.03

    ""In November 2002 my dad was standing in the roadway at dusk in Hutchinson County talking to a guy in a grain truck parked on the road without tail lights – a local lead foot didn’t see him until it was too late –""

    Could it be contended many cell talkers might not have a different outcome under those same circumstances at 55 mph Steve?

    I agree something needs to be done with speeders AND cell phone abuse, it shouldn't be just about the fine as the affluent are not punished, the punishment should fit the crime. My brother was broad sided (his wife taking the blow in the passenger door) by a woman running a stop sign who then proceeded to chew him out for wrecking her car, until, he pointed to the stop sign she drove through at 20 mph with the phone to her left ear.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.03

    Hey, Les, how about we double the points for infractions if records show that your phone was active at the time of the infractions? And focus the fine on revoking the license, not just the fine. That will hit rich and poor alike, won't it?

  18. Les 2012.01.03

    That was almost exactly my thoughts Cory, a quick audit of the phone history by the patrolman triggers higher points similar to speeding in construction zones.

    We do have laws dealing with driving issues, but the woman that hit my brother suffered no more pain than a reckless ticket while my sister in law suffered her injuries out for over two years and no law suit by the way.

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