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Traffic at opening weekend of Sturgis Rally down from last year

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 1:39 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Traffic for the opening weekend of the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was down, though still comparable to recent years as the event rolls on despite the pandemic.

Overall traffic from Friday to Sunday was down 3.8 percent compared to 2019, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Each year, the DOT tracks traffic at nine different locations entering Sturgis during the rally. So far, the traffic count is at 160,788 this year, compared to 167,222 in 2019.

Saturday saw the biggest drop, with traffic down eight percent compared to last year. Sunday’s count was down just one percent from the previous year.

Some have expressed concerns that the rally may serve as a “super-spreader” event amid the coronavirus pandemic, though this year’s traffic numbers suggest many bikers are still attending despite the threat. The Associated Press reports very few people taking part in the rally are wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

The Department of Public Safety has reported no fatal crashes at the rally as of Monday morning, though injury accidents are up compared to last year. DUI arrests are down, while drug arrests and total citations are up slightly.

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