2021 H2Oi arrests down almost 50% from 2020, according to preliminary data
OCEAN CITY, Md. – Preliminary data shows H2Oi was much safer and calmer this year than in years past. “Although we had more law enforcement officers, all of our statistics are showing that we had a decrease in tow violations, citations, traffic stops, which is positive because it shows that we gained compliance, which is what we’ve been seeking all along,” said Communications Director for the Town of Ocean City Jessica Waters.
In 2020, 368 cars were towed and 123 citations were given out for exhibition driving. Last year, there were 277 arrests. But, as of right now, that preliminary data shows that 101 cars were towed, 53 citations for exhibition driving were given out, and 134 people were arrested. However, Waters says more data is being collected from allied law enforcement agencies. So, those numbers could fluctuate.
Waters says with the special event zone put in place, violators were threatened with higher fines and lower speed limits, which probably helped. “All of those things deter people from breaking the law,” she said.
The town is also crediting increased prevention efforts by law enforcement and the business community for how this year’s unsanctioned event went. “We also had great involvement by our business community. Businesses were hiring extra security at their locations, or some businesses were choosing the close,” said Waters. “That was also a tool for us. I think all in all, even in terms of participants, I think a lot of the car enthusiasts decided that this was not the type of car show they wanted to attend.”
Because this year went so much more smoothly than usual, Waters says the town is going to keep up the same tactics next year. That means continuing with increased police presence, special event zone legislation, and working with the business community. “That is always our number one priority. Allowing visitors, residents, and businesses to travel on Coastal Highway and know that they’re safe, is most important to us. So, we’re going to continue our efforts and continue to make safety a priority, not only this weekend, but all weekends,” said Waters.