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Thousands Drive In SD Without License Every Year

February 25, 2014, 6:03 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Thousands Drive In SD Without License Every Year

A fiery Sioux Falls crash involving a reality TV regular may be giving a common South Dakota problem some attention.

Police say 23-year-old Adam Lind was driving a Corvette when he crashed into another vehicle Friday that injured two elderly people in southeastern Sioux Falls.  Lind is now facing five charges including driving without a license. This isn't the first time he's been in trouble for that; according to court records, he's pleaded guilty to the crime eight other times.

Driving without a license - or with a suspended license - is right at the top of the list with speeding as the most common traffic violation in South Dakota. Thousands are ticketed for it every year.

"The people who are out there driving legally, we pay our dues and I think that everybody should be held liable to the same standards," Sioux Falls driver Kim Boyd said Tuesday afternoon while she was filling up her SUV with gas.

According to South Dakota Unified Judicial System records, more than 11,000 South Dakotans were ticketed in 2013 for driving without a license, which is actually down from five years ago when that number was at 13,000 drivers ticketed for getting behind the wheel without a license.

"That's not good. If they don't have a license, there should be stricter laws probably," Brown County driver Dennis Rossow said.

Drivers KELOLAND News talked to Tuesday say those statistics are concerning for everyone on the road.

"These guys are out here driving and it's our liability at hand too. You get into an accident and there's not much we can do about that, pay out of pocket ourselves. That's disturbing to me actually," Boyd said.

And while Lind’s fiery crash may have brought the issue to light, it's a real issue that has been going on in South Dakota for years.

"If they could come up with some kind of solution to that problem, it’s a lot of people so that's scary," Boyd said.

The state of South Dakota collected more than $1 million in fines last year for drivers who got behind the wheel without a license.

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