Can You Legally Jaywalk In South Dakota?
Jaywalking might not seem like a big deal to most people. However, it's a different story when you're driving on the road.
People jaywalk all the time and never give it a second thought. But did you know that jaywalking is actually recognized as an illegal crime in some states? So does this list include South Dakota?
For those who aren't familiar with this term, jaywalking is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as someone who crosses "a street carelessly or in an illegal manner so as to be endangered by traffic." In other words, a pedestrian who is crossing the street without using a crosswalk and having no regard for oncoming traffic is considered jaywalking.
I remember when I took a trip to Savannah, Georgia with my Girl Scout Troop “waaay” back when. During our visit, our tour guide made it a point to always remind us to use the crosswalks when we crossed the streets. Why? Well, at the time, jaywalking was illegal, and the police could issue you a ticket for this offense.
Can you receive a traffic violation if you jaywalk in South Dakota? According to the South Dakota State Legislature, this would be considered a "petty offense." South Dakota law states, "Every pedestrian crossing a highway within a business or residence district at any point other than a pedestrian crossing, crosswalk, or intersection shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles upon the highway." So technically yes, you can receive a ticket for jaywalking in South Dakota.
In general, just use the crosswalks. It can ultimately save you a lot of aggravation as well as keep you safe while you're exploring the state.
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