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DOT review finds speed zones didn’t always match road signs

October 28, 2017 GMT

State government’s Transportation Commission reduced speed limits for motorists on highways in 15 South Dakota counties Thursday.

In 12 counties the zones currently don’t correspond to roadside signs, according to Karla Engle. She is a special assistant attorney general in the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

She said department staff discovered the discrepancies during a review.

In many of the instances, department officials want to adjust boundaries of the speed zones, rather than change locations for the signs, Engle said.

That means motorists won’t notice in those places.

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The commission also reduced speed limits for safety reasons in Bennett, Clay and Perkins counties.

State Highway 73 would have a new 45 mph zone in Martin in Bennett County. Sheriff Paul Williams and Mayor Gary Rayhill sent emails in support.

State Highway 50 would have its 55 mph zone reduced to 50 mph at Vermillion in Clay County. Radar speed-feedback signs also are planned.

State Highway 20 would have a shorter 45 mph zone outside Bison in Perkins County.

All of the speed-zone changes now head to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee for consideration Nov. 14.

No one sent written testimony or spoke against the proposals at the public hearing Thursday.

The other changes are:

State Highway 38 would have a longer 35 mph zone at Hartford in Minnehaha County;

State Highway 44 would have a longer 45 mph zone and a shorter 55 mph zone southeast from Cambell Street in Rapid City in Pennington County;

US Highway 281 would have a new 65 mph zone south of Aberdeen in Brown County;

US Highway 85 east of Deadwood in Lawrence County would have a series of changes including a new 20 mph zone;

US Highway 85 would have a new arrangement of speed zones at Belle Fourche in Butte County.

US Highway 12 would have several speed zone changes at Waubay in Day County.

State Highway 22 would have a longer 50 mph zone at the intersection with State Highway 15 in Deuel County.

US Highway 18 would have a longer 55 mph zone at Hot Springs in Fall River County.

State Highway 25 would have a longer 30 mph zone at De Smet in Kingsbury County.

State Highway 25 would have a shorter 30 mph zone at Veblen in Marshall County.

State Highway 407 in Oglala Lakota County between US 18 and the Nebraska border would have various speed-zone changes.

State Highway 44 would have a new 40 mph zone at Parker in Turner County.

Proposed changes to contractor bidding rules were withdrawn by the decision of commission chairman Ron Rosenboom of Sturgis.

Those potential changes will be proposed in some fashion again next spring, Engle said.

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