The annual Harley-Davidson motorcycle rally was a bit calmer this year in comparison to previous years with no major issues and no motorcyclists killed during their travels along the Grand Strand, according to authorities.
“From all appearances, the numbers were up this year, but there were no major issues,” Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes said Tuesday.
One of the biggest differences between this Harley rally and others was that there were no motorcycle-related fatalities on area highways, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.
In 2012, officials responded to four fatal crashes and two in 2011 that involved motorcyclists, Collins said.
Troopers did investigate 18 motorcycle-related crashes between May 11 and May 19, Collins said. Those statistics do not include crashes that may have occurred within municipalities and were investigated by city departments.
“You hope it was because everyone was working together and heeding our warning to ride smart, drive smart,” Collins said in response to what worked this year to prevent any fatalities. “We are already preparing for next weekend and plan to increase our patrols starting Thursday.”
Even with no deaths reported during the rally, in the Horry County police jurisdiction, Sgt. Robert Kegler said bikers during the Harley rally were calm.
“Bike week 2013 went smooth on the law enforcement side for the Horry County Police Department,” Kegler said. “There were no major issues during the rally that were bike related.”
According to statistics released by Horry County officials, police in the unincorporated areas of the county issued 122 warnings and made 139 cases with bond or fine amounts totaling $37,508.50 between May 10 and Sunday.
Those cases included equipment violations, speeding, disregarding a traffic signal and vehicle license violations, according to statistics released Tuesday by Horry County officials.
That’s slightly less than the same period in 2011, when Horry County officials reported 129 cases with fines or bond amounts totaling $19,151 during the nine days of the Harley Davidson rally from May 14 to May 22, according to reports.
During the 2010 Harley rally, Horry County police made 386 cases with bond or fine amounts totaling $63,800 during the 10 days of the rally, according to records.
In the city of Myrtle Beach, Knipes said preliminary numbers showed that officers recorded 659 misdemeanors, 451 traffic-related incidents and no felonies.
But Myrtle Beach police reported in 2011 during the Harley rally weekend of May 20-22 that they made six felony cases, 385 misdemeanors and 391 traffic-related incidents, according to records. There were 957 citations issued during 10 days in 2010.
In 2011, Myrtle Beach officials received 1,379 calls for service during a three-day period versus 3,766 calls for service during the 10-day rally last year, according to city officials.
With the spring rally finished, authorities have focused their attention on preparing for the annual Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest.
Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman, said they’ve received five vendor permit applications, which is the same amount they had last year in the county’s jurisdiction.
Linda Cheatham, interim town manager in Atlantic Beach, said Tuesday the town was steadily processing vendor applications. By the close of business on Monday they had 35 applications and she said they “are coming in so we hope it to be wonderful.”