Meet the New Addition to the South Dakota Highway Patrol Vehicle Fleet
For a certain segment of the population, Highway Patrolmen on motorcycles evoke memories of Ponch and Jon. The South Dakota Highway Patrol will be back on two wheels this summer courtesy of a federal grant.
It was 30 years ago when the motorcycle was part of the Highway Patrol fleet in the Rushmore State. On Friday three new 2015 Harley Davidson motorcycles were revealed in front of the state Capitol.
In a press release from the Department of Public Safety, Patrol Superintendent Colonel Craig Price said funding for the program comes from a federal grant through the state Office of Highway Safety. Primarily the motorcycles will be used for DUI enforcement as a stipulation for securing the grant.
"Troopers on motorcycles are able to respond faster to calls due to their ability to maneuver through all types of traffic,” Price said. “The motorcycles will allow troopers to stop suspected impaired drivers in traffic that they would not normally be able to reach if driving a conventional patrol car or SUV."
The motorcycles will be assigned to Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. They also will be used throughout the state including at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August.
Six troopers underwent two weeks of motorcycle training at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy in order to be certified to use the machines. The motorcycles were purchased from J&L Harley Davidson in Sioux Falls, which was selected after a competitive bid process.