Rally Resources Lead to a Safer Sturgis

Every year, thousands of motorcycle riders, fanatics and friends flock to Sturgis, South Dakota, for the biggest motorcycle rally in the world. The winding roads of the Black Hills are congested with those coming and going for over a week. Between the parties, concerts and events, there’s opportunity for injuries, crashes and fatalities. And every year, the South Dakota Highway Patrol compiles data and puts out a report sharing those numbers. The report can give insight into the effect of safety efforts, areas of improvement, and the need for more patrol and other resources.

The dust has settled on this year’s event and the numbers are in: the 2019 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally ended with fewer accidents and fatalities than in 2018. With over 499,654 motorized vehicles in attendance at the 10-day event, safety was a main priority. And a decrease in crashes and deaths means safety efforts were a success.

This year’s Rally ended with two fatalities reported, down from four in 2018. Injury accidents were down to 52 from 56 last year, and non-injury crashes decreased from 50 to 41.

ItemSturgisRapid City DistrictDistrict TotalLast Year to Date
DUI Arrests13536171149
Misd Drug Arrests16548213175
Felony Drug Arrests834813177
Total Citations8424941336987
Total Warnings2814128040943754
Cash Seized$0.00$4,044.00$4,044.00$2,739.00
Vehicles Seized4267
For Drug Poss.4267
For Serial No.0000
Non-Injury Accidents16254150
Injury Accidents 26265256
Fatal Accidents2024
# of Fatalities2024

This decrease in numbers wasn’t without effort. Law enforcement in the Sturgis area made their presence obvious, spending the week patrolling the roads, stressing common sense and situation awareness for riders and drivers. Resources such as the South Dakota Rides Sturgis page also played a role, offering safety tips, rally resources, traffic updates and more.

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