Pennington Co. Sheriff’s office provides advice as crashes in Sturgis climb

Local News

HILL CITY, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota troopers have responded to more than 70 crashes since Saturday morning, 39 involved injuries and two people have died on Black Hills Roads.

Sgt. Billy Davis, with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, says speed and breaking the law are the two biggest factors that cause motorcycle crashes.

“We see motorcyclists get impatient and pass in no passing zones and that’s caused at least one fatality so far this year that we are aware of,” Sgt. Davis said.

Sgt. Davis says several of this year’s crashes involved bikers who weren’t paying attention. Davis says sometimes folks want to enjoy the Black Hills scenery, but that can take your attention away from what’s happening in front of you.

“Be defensive when you drive, watch what other people are doing, keep spacing between you and other motorcycles and always have an out is what they say on the bike. You should think ahead, if this person pulls out, where am I going to go?” Sgt. Davis said.

Because roads out here in the Black Hills are a bit more curvy and narrow than other parts of the nation, it’s important for bikers to be familiar with the area that they are riding into.

“There’s three things that can get you more than anything and it’s weather, speed, and road condition. If you watch those, keep yourself safe, you’ll have a decent ride and a pleasurable ride,” Jimmy Mills, biker from Alabama, said.

Jimmy Mills is visiting from Mobile, Alabama, with his group the Wheels of Faith. Mills says they always use hand signals to maintain a safe distance from each other and they always plan ahead.

“We know what road we are going to next so that we know when we have to start slowing down, what road sign we got to look for. Always pay attention to road signs,” Mills said.

According to Highway Patrol Sturgis Rally Tally, from Saturday morning to date, there have been 100 DUIs. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says impaired driving can also cause crashes.

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