Citations Down, Accidents Up at Sturgis Rally


The South Dakota Highway Patrol released its first batch of enforcement stats Monday, and the numbers indicate that overall citations are down compared to the same time frame last year, but accidents have increased.

The 83rd annual Sturgis Rally began Friday, and as of 6 a.m. Monday there had been two fatality accidents. While that number is the same as 2022, overall injury accidents increased, with 21 reported so far this year, compared to 14 last year. Non-injury accidents are up from 12 to 16.

The two fatality crashes occurred on Interstate 90 and on Highway 14A. The interstate accident involved four vehicles – three motorcycles and a van – in a chain reaction pile-up after the first motorcycle braked, causing the van and two other motorcycles to collide. A 54-year-old female was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash on Highway 14A involved a single motorcycle that failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the center line, entered the ditch and rolled. The 41-year-old driver was killed.

Total citation and warnings issued are down, however. Last year in the first days of the rally, officers issued 1,368 warnings and 382 citations. This year, 1,136 warnings and 365 citations have been issued. There have been 17 felony drug arrests, down from 19 in 2022, and 45 misdemeanor drug arrests, up from 33 last year. Driving under the influence arrests also decreased, from 45 to 36.