Vehicle Counts In Sturgis Up Double Digits, But Well Below 75th Anniversary Rally In 2015


     Vehicle counts of vehicles entering Sturgis for the 81st annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally continue to run double-digits higher than last year, although well below records set during the 75th anniversary Rally in 2015.

       South Dakota Dept of Transportation counters at multiple locations coming into the city have a 4-day total of 257,737 vehicles, almost 35,000 more than last year but 107,000 fewer than in 2015.

      Opening day had 55,326 for an 11% increase from a year ago while Saturday recorded the biggest day so far with 67,482 or 23.1% more vehicles. Sunday’s total of 65,771 was up 17.1%, and Monday posted a 12.6% increase at 64,158. 

     While the number of vehicles is higher, the South Dakota Highway Patrol’s Rally Tally shows arrests are down while citations and warnings are down. 

       From 6 AM Saturday to 6 AM Tuesday, the Patrol’s Rapid City District made 50 DUI arrests, 14 fewer than last year, while the number of misdemeanor drug arrests fell by almost half to 57 with felony drug arrests down from 52 to 30.

      Total citations, on the other hand, rose from 595 to 643 and total warnings went up from 1,409 to 1,786. By this time at last year’s Rally, 4 vehicles had been seized in drug cases; none have been this year.

      The number of accidents and fatalities are both down from last year. There have been 13 non-injury accidents, 9 fewer than a year ago, with 22 injury accidents, a drop of 4. 

      There had been 2 traffic deaths by Tuesday morning last year, but only 1 this year, although 2 motorcyclists were killed Friday after the Rally started but before the Patrol began the Rally Tally.