Traffic Down Slightly, Citations Up At Sturgis Rally Opening Weekend
Traffic for the opening weekend of the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was down, but only slightly. This was in spite of many in the media and those in the medical community expressing their displeasure with the City of Sturgis for allowing the rally to move ahead as planned.
According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, traffic from Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9 was down only 3.8 percent when compared to 2019.
Dakota News Now reports that traffic is tracked by the DOT at nine different locations entering Sturgis during the rally. The DOT says the traffic count for the opening weekend was 160,788 this year. It was 167,222 during the same period in 2019.
It was reported that the biggest drop in traffic was Saturday, down eight percent from last year. There was a rebound on Sunday which was only off by one percent from 2019.
Some members of the medical community have blasted the rally, going so far as calling it a 'super-spreader event' and criticizing rally-goers for not wearing masks or social distancing. However, the traffic numbers show that tens of thousands of bikers choosing to attend the event despite any perceived risks there may be.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety reports no fatal crashes of Monday morning, but there is an increase in injury accidents. DUI arrests are down so far, while drug arrests and total citations are up slightly.