Rally Traffic Down, Arrests Up

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Traffic at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was down through the first five days, according to counts released by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Through Tuesday, Sturgis had seen 250,699 vehicles enter the city, while the previous five-year average is 290,671.

The largest drop came on Saturday when 38,126 vehicles were counted; that figure is down 37% from the five-year average. The only day that saw an increase in traffic through Tuesday was Sunday’s 60,586 count, up 4% from the average. Friday, Monday and Tuesday were down from between 4% and 17%.

The increased traffic has resulted in only two fatal accidents as of Wednesday, but accidents overall are up, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol. There have been 32 injury accidents and 27 non-injury wrecks, compared to 30 and 22 last year.

Arrests and citations this year are also up, with 118 misdemeanor drug arrests and 68 felony drug arrests, compared to 80 and 50 a year ago. Law enforcement has issued 793 citations, up from 721 in 2022. Driving under the influence and warnings have decreased. Seventy-one DUI arrests have been made, down from 77, and 2,292 warnings issued, down from more than 2,600.