Passing laws: South Dakota requires, in the event a motor vehicle passes a bicycle or vice versa, the general traffic laws to apply and accordingly it must be done to the left and in a safe manner.
Helmet law: There is no state law in South Dakota that requires the operator of a bicycle to wear a helmet. However, although not required by law it is strongly recommended.
Laws to Protect the Bicyclist (“Vulnerable User Laws”): There are no vulnerable user laws enacted in South Dakota.
Distracted Driving Laws: South Dakota has no laws that limit the use of a cell phone or wireless communications device in a motor vehicle at this time.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist (Where to Ride): Generally speaking, South Dakota law requires bicyclists to be as close to the right hand edge of the road as possible. However there are some important exceptions that I will outline below:
- When passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
- When preparing to take a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; and
- When reasonably necessary to avoid unsafe conditions such as riding in a lane that is too narrow.
Sidewalk Riding: The general rule in South Dakota is that you are permitted to ride on sidewalks. However, there are certain rules and exceptions that must be followed. So you may ride on a sidewalk subject to the following:
- You must yield the right of way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such a pedestrian; and
- You have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same It is important to note that South Dakota does not require that bicyclists use any lane or path other than a normal vehicular traffic lane. So if there is a sidewalk, the choice of road or sidewalk is yours to make.
Riding a Bike under the Influence: Obviously, it is never a good idea to drive any vehicle under the influence of alcohol However, South Dakota’s law prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is written so that it does not apply to bicyclists.
Stop Sign Laws: In South Dakota bicycles have to follow the same rules as motor vehicles regarding the requirement to come to a complete stop when directed to stop by traffic control devices and South Dakota does not authorize bicyclists to disobey traffic lights that fail to detect bicyclists.