South Dakota - Traffic Stop Data_1

Big Local News filed this request with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety of South Dakota.


From: Vignesh Ramachandran

To Whom It May Concern:

I am the managing editor of Peninsula Press, a multimedia news website based out of Stanford University in California. We are working on collecting data on traffic stops and searches made by state patrols across the country. (I previously contacted your agency regarding record layout information about what datapoints your state collects and Kristi Turman provided the record layout titles on a table document.)

Pursuant to the South Dakota Sunshine Law, I hereby request the following records:

I am requesting the raw data of traffic stops made in your state and laid out in your record description for the last ten (10) years. The fields of data include:

-Judicial Circuit
-At or Near (Location/Milepost)
-Date of Birth
-Operating (Checkbox)
-Passenger (Checkbox)
-Other (Checkbox)
-State of DL
-Vehicle Year
-Vehicle Make
-Vehicle Model
-Vehicle Style
-Vehicle Color
-Vehicle License Number
-Vehicle License Type
-Vehicle License State
-VIN (if no plate)
-Code (Violation)
-Speeding, Interstate (Checkbox)
-Speeding, Municipal (Checkbox)
-Speeding, Other (Checkbox)
-Speeding, Pace (Checkbox)
-Speeding, School Zone (Checkbox)
-Speeding, Construction (Checkbox)
-Actual Speed
-MPH Zone
-Hazmat (Checkbox)
-Commercial (Checkbox)
-16 Passenger (Checkbox)
-CDL (Checkbox)
-Accident (Checkbox)
-DUI (Checkbox)

These were all fields provided by the state.

Additionally, if collected and not already included above, we’d like to request the incident date, incident time, violator race, violator sex, violator DOB, vehicle info (make/model/VIN), officer ID, officer race, what violation occurred and what type of enforcement took place.

The requested data will be analyzed, eventually be made available to the general public and be used for editorial purposes. This request is not being made for commercial purposes. We kindly ask the request be filled electronically. We can accept the data in many common formats, including as CSV, spreadsheet or other database formats. Data can be emailed to or uploaded to this Dropbox folder:

In the event data has to be sent physically on a CD or portable drive, please mail to Peninsula Press, Stanford Journalism Program, 450 Serra Mall, Building 120, Stanford, CA 94305.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Vignesh Ramachandran

Vignesh Ramachandran
Managing Editor, Peninsula Press
Stanford Journalism Program
phone 650.723.0703
physical mail 450 Serra Mall, Building 120, Stanford, CA 94305

From: Turman, Kristi

Attached please find a response to your open records request from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Kristi Turman
Division of Emergency Services, and
Office of Communications
South Dakota Department of Public Safety
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

From: Vignesh Ramachandran

Thanks Kristi. We look forward to hearing more.

From: Turman, Kristi

Attached please find South Dakota’s cost estimate to fulfill your open records request submitted in November.

Kristi Turman
Division Director
SD Department of Public Safety

From: Turman, Kristi

As you can see below, I responded to you on December 23rd and attached a letter explaining there is a charge for compiling data. Are you willing to pay the charge?

From: Vignesh Ramachandran

Hi Kristi,

Thanks for your note. I have mailed the payment today.


From: Turman, Kristi

Thank you for checking in with us. The files will be uploaded to your drop-box account by the end of the day today.


From: Turman, Kristi

The files were uploaded on March 8 to the dropbox you provided.

From: Vignesh Ramachandran

Thank you Kristi. I'll follow up with any further questions.