OC leaders hoping to see minimal issues for this year’s pop-up rally event
OCEAN CITY, Md.- If you’re looking to make your way to Ocean City this week for the anticipated pop-up car rally event, Mayor Rick Meehan has a message for you.
“As always, we welcome everybody here, but if you’re going to break the law or you’re coming here to just break the law this isn’t the time or place to come,” Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said.
We’re told in years past, this social media driven motor event caused many people to roll into the resort town, resulting in issues from speeding to burnouts. “2020 was definitely one of our worst years we have experienced with this motor vehicle event, we had a lot of people here, a lot of vehicles,” Ashley Miller, OCPD Deputy Communications Manager, said.
But, do Ocean City police officers think they’ll see the same crowds and issues this time around?
“We’ve been tracking it throughout the year, it’s kind of a 3 way split is what we are seeing, we still see a lot of people will be coming here to Ocean City, it looks like they will be going up to New Jersey and some people will be going to North Carolina,” Miller said.
Miller told us this split can be attributed to a various changes they’ve made throughout the years. “With the Special Event Zone, it’s biggest thing is for safety; it lowers the speed limit, the maximum speed limit is going to be 30 miles an hour,” Miller said. ” Once we got that additional legislation also in 2020 that made the exhibition driving, additional fines higher end arrest-able, we have started to see that has been a very effective tool.”
Because of these resources, they’ve also seen arrests and traffic incidents decline last year; which is an impact town leaders wish to see again this time around with new tools in their back pocket.
“We’ve got our city watch cameras on Baltimore Avenue, we’ve got our body cams on our police officers, we’ve got our mobile cameras, we’ve got drone usage if needed,” Mayor Meehan said. “We made great progress last year, I think you’ll see the same again this year and we’re hoping we will see a very minimal impact this year from the pop-up rally.”
Leaders said another resource that’s helped with the changes they’ve seen is the Motor Vehicle Task Force who they said have stayed committed to wanting to make positive differences with this event.