In 2020, the Legislature barely passed Senate Bill 113, which toughens the standards for teenagers driving on learner’s permits. Teens have to wait longer (i.e., practice more) to upgrade from learner’s permit to regular driver’s license. They have to put in at least 50 hours of driving time with Mom, Dad, or some other daring and licensed adult driver, including 10 hours at night and 10 hours in bad weather. And learner’s permitees can’t pile their pals in Pop’s Pontiac and cruise Main; they can only chauffeur kin for their first six months, then carry only one non-relative in the car.
The law was supposed to take effect last year, but a week before enactment, Governor Noem decided that the coronavirus restrictions that put driver licensing stations on appointment-only status made it too hard for the state to contact all those learning drivers and explain all the new rules. Even though that’s hogwash, the Governor invoked her emergency powers and suspended enactment of that law for a whole year.
But the driver license offices are back to regular hours, so now SB 113 is law. But it’s not a big enough law for Sioux Falls police to treat it as a primary offense:
“Is this something that’s going to be high on our enforcement action list? We will not be driving around looking for who’s in cars asking if they’re friends, household members, you kind of get my point, but I think this is something that if you’re out causing a problem with your car as a young person these are the laws that kind of establish that,” Lt. Jon Thum with Sioux Falls Police said [Kelli Volk, “Changes to Teen Driving Restrictions Start Today in SD,” KELO-TV, 2021.07.01].
So just like with medical marijuana: don’t drive like a crazy person, and you won’t have any trouble with the heat.