Traffic Nightmare as Hundreds of Thousands Head to Sturgis, SD

By  | 

A record number of motorcycles heading to the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has law enforcement and the Department of Transportation scrambling.

If you are heading to the rally in South Dakota, it is a traffic nightmare and the number of traffic deaths has spiked - six on area highways and one in town as of Monday, the first day of the rally.

Valley News Team's Lisa Budeau is in Sturgis and talked with the police chief about how the Sturgis Police Department, and surrounding areas, are responding to this year's rally.

Jim Bush has been the Police Chief in Sturgis for 25 years. On day one of the rally, he says he has never seen anything like this before.

He says every street, bar and establishment was full as he cruised through town. The recurring theme this year is the traffic nightmare. You can't get anywhere fast, and that includes inside and outside of Sturgis.

Chief Bush says more people means more problems. Sturgis typically has 15 officers on staff. While he won't say how many people they add for rally week, he says they have a plan in place.

Officers from all over the country come to help both the police department and area Sheriff's Offices. In fact, Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney and two deputies were in the area last week leading up to the rally.

Police are urging people to follow the basic rules of the road. It's easy to get distracted by looking around at everything that is going on, but law enforcement say that distraction is causing crashes.

Watch for more coverage from Lisa Budeau this week on the Valley Today and on www.valleynewslive.com. If you are going to Sturgis, send you pictures to pix@valleynewslive.com.