• Frank Benvenuto, P.A.

Ocean City, MD Event Zones


New Special Event Zone Laws

Police were in full force to deal with the unsanctioned H2Oi event in Ocean City, as reported by WBOC 16 news on September 26th, 2020.

OCEAN CITY, Md.- Last year, car enthusiasts who showed up for an unsanctioned H2Oi car rally caused chaos in parts of Ocean City. A year later, the resort town’s police department has its hands full yet again.

On Friday night, witnesses captured video of a police officer being assaulted by someone following an arrest on 31st Street. All throughout the night, there were burnouts, fireworks set off on city streets and unruly crowds, with some people getting into fights.

Since the middle of the week, tow trucks and police patrols have been out in full force issuing tickets and stopping traffic. On Thursday, 75 cars were towed and 31 arrests were made. But on the Thursday of last year’s rally, only 12 cars were towed and seven arrests made.

Ocean City has established a Special Event Zone that is in place until Sunday with the goal of deterring motor violations by lowering speed limits and increasing fines and penalties. Police are also allowed to make arrests for certain motor violations in the Special Event Zone, following legislation passed earlier this year by the Maryland General Assembly.

The unsanctioned event continues through the rest of the weekend.

In April of 2018, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the Special Event Zone Bill into Law- this allowed for the creation of special event zones. (See Town of Ocean City Motor Events)

In April 2018, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the “Special Event Zone” bill into law allowing authorities in Worcester County to designate Special Event Zones during large events, particularly motor events. The new legislation allows officials to lower speed limits in the Special Event Zone. Similar to a Construction Zone, violators will face increased fines if speeding in a Special Event Zone.

Special Event Zones are in place during motor events in Ocean City. Signage on roadways will indicate where those Zones are in effect. Citizens are urged to drive with caution in Special Event Zones and be cognizant of speed.

Thousands of car enthusiasts are expected in Ocean City for the event and citizens should expect to see a large police presence. Officers from allied agencies will be assisting the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), including the Maryland State Police, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland Transportation Authority, and Maryland Natural Resources Police.

The special event zone is officially in place on Route 50 from Route 589 into Ocean City, on Route 90 from Route 589 into Ocean City, on Route 589 between Routes 90 and 50, and on Route 611 from Route 50 to Airport Road.

The effects of this new law is to impose the following:

· A lower speed limit of 30 mph along Coastal Highway as part of a “Special Event Zone.” Speeding fines can go as high as $1,000.

· The largest deployment ever of Maryland State troopers, according to OC Today.

· Higher penalties for “exhibition driving” — driving where there’s skidding, squealing wheels, smoking tires, excessive engine noise, etc.

· Jail time for up to 60 days for violations.

· Towing fines of $600, not the previous $325.

· 30 towing companies on standby, working with police.

(For more information and full article, please see https://wtop.com/maryland/2020/09/oc-special-event-zone/#

Here are some of the prohibited actions:

· Spectators are urged to keep sidewalks clear for pedestrian traffic, and should not incite the spinning of wheels or “burn outs by motorists.” (See WMDT article Special Event Zone coming to Ocean City this week reported on September 21st, 2020)

Officers will be strictly enforcing all traffic laws. Additionally, pedestrians are urged to Walk Smart! and always use crosswalks when crossing roadways. Wait for the signal to change and be sure that drivers see you while crossing.

TRAILER PARKING

Trailers and oversized vehicles may not be parked on Baltimore Avenue at any time. Parking a trailer or oversized vehicle on any street or paved public lot without a permit is prohibited between May 1 and October 31. Permits are available to registered participants of Cruisin’ Ocean City, OC BikeFest, and Endless Summer Cruisin’ for a fee of $50 from the event organizer.

Limited trailer parking is available at the 100th Street gravel parking lot for a small daily fee. Permits can be purchased at the pay station on-site. During Cruisin’ Ocean City, OC BikeFest, and Endless Summer Cruisin’, limited free trailer parking will be available at the West Ocean City Park & Ride beginning at 12 noon on the Friday prior to the event until 12 noon on the Monday following the event.

(For additional information about the trailer ordinance, please visit https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/city-clerk/trailer-ordinance/.)

OTHER COMMON VIOLATIONS SEEN DURING MOTOR EVENTS

· Speeding and aggressive driving behaviors will be strictly enforced. Speeding and aggressive driving can quickly lead to serious motor vehicle collisions which is why our officers take this behavior very seriously.

· Spinning tires and burnouts are strictly prohibited. A driver can easily lose control of a vehicle during a burnout, presenting a serious risk to others nearby.

· Inciting or encouraging others to commit a traffic violation or crime is also prohibited. Citizens may not request, encourage or direct another to break the law, such as inciting burnouts, reckless driving or disorderly conduct.

· Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not tolerated by our officers.

· Disorderly conduct, or willfully acting in a manner that disturbs the public peace, is prohibited. Officers will enforce laws concerning disorderly conduct in order to protect the quality of life of our citizens and ensure a peaceful environment.

· Blocking sidewalks and public roadways is prohibited. Citizens may not sit along sidewalks or congregate in the roadway in a manner to prevent others from easily passing. Open container and public consumption of alcohol are also prohibited.

· The Town of Ocean City Noise Ordinance states that it is unlawful for any person to make, cause or continue any loud, unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noise, or any noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace and safety of others at any time, day or night.

· No disruptive noises may be made between 12 midnight and 7 a.m. in such a manner as to be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the building or structure where it originates. This includes loud noise from a vehicle.

· The use of a megaphone without a permit from the Mayor and City Council of Ocean City is prohibited.


For more information view the attached links:

https://mdcoastdispatch.com/2020/09/24/special-event-zone-expanded-west/


http://www.wboc.com/story/42685498/police-out-in-full-force-to-deal-with-unsanctioned-h2oi-event-in-oc


https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/police/motor-events/


https://wtop.com/maryland/2020/09/oc-special-event-zone/#:~:text=A%20lower%20speed%20limit%20of,troopers%2C%20according%20to%20OC%20Today


https://www.wmdt.com/2020/09/special-event-zone-coming-to-ocean-city-this-week/


https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/city-clerk/trailer-ordinance/



DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney, Frank Benvenuto, P.A.

Serving Ocean City, MD & Surrounding Areas

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Cell: 443-783-2451

Office: 410-641-2999

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