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Motorists Urged To Be Patient, Cooperative As 75th Annual Sturgis Rally Begins

Published: July 29, 2015, 3:30 PM

STURGIS, S.D. – South Dakota Department of Public Safety officials are urging drivers and bikers to show patience and cooperation on the roads as the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally nears.

 

While the rally officially begins Monday, Aug. 3, motorcycle traffic on South Dakota highways and streets has steadily increased in the last few weeks. Capt. Kevin Karley of the Highway Patrol’s Rapid City district says all motorists need to be careful.

 

“A driver, whether in a vehicle or on a motorcycle, can quickly cause a crash if they are not paying attention,” Karley says.  “Bikers and motorists alike need to be especially alert and cautious.’’

 

In 2014, there were four highway fatalities recorded in the Rapid City district during the rally period, down from six fatalities recorded in 2013.  Statewide in South Dakota, there have been 11 motorcycle fatalities so far this year, up from eight for the same period in 2014.

 

“Not only do we have more visitors traveling through South Dakota during the summer, we also have more motorcycles traveling through our state, especially this year for the 75th rally,”  says Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety. “If everyone pays attention and makes safe choices, bikers, tourists and everyone else on the highways can have a good and safe time.”

 

Rally visitors are encouraged to visit the Office of Highway Safety’s website at www.southdakotarides.com. Created specifically for motorcycle enthusiasts, the site includes safety tips, motorcycle laws and regulations and a virtual ride feature that gives novice riders or bikers unfamiliar with South Dakota roads a chance to study various routes and gauge the difficulty of the ride compared to their level of skill on a motorcycle. 

 

Rally attendees looking for real-time public safety information about the Sturgis Rally can also follow four Twitter sites at @SDPublicSafety,  @SDHighwayPatrol, @SouthDakotaDOT and @RallyTraffic.  

 

Motorcyclists and motorists alike are reminded of the rules for sharing the road:

 

*** Motorcyclists should ride in single-file lines and avoid crowding the center line or crowding motorists;

 

*** Motorists should remember not to crowd cycles. Motorcycles have the same rights on the road as motorists;

 

*** Motorists and cyclists should follow the recommended speed limits.  Motorcyclists should be especially aware of speed limits on curves;

 

*** It is against the law to drink and drive.  Motorists and cyclists should make sure they have sober drivers;

 

*** Motorists should remember to buckle up, it’s the law; and,

 

*** Motorcyclists are encouraged to wear helmets. 

 

The official dates of the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are Monday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 9.

 

Beginning Friday, July 31, the South Dakota Highway Patrol will provide a daily media release with rally statistics. The daily media releases will end on Sunday, Aug. 9.

 

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