The key to tackling the troublesome motorized vehicle events in the Ocean City area is balancing specific changes with reality.
While that approach does not ensure any improvement for these disturbing weekends, it’s the only way to affect any sort of positive outcome from the ongoing deliberations. A simplistic approach with narrow and realistic goals is the wise direction toward getting some immediate changes in place.
That’s why it’s a good thing to see the early direction of the task force in Ocean City trending that way. Although there has been a lot of robust talk, most of which is unproductive in nature because it’s overly general, there are two main takeaways from the recent task force meetings.
Legislation to create a special enforcement zone in Ocean City is to be introduced at the state level. It will likely be a local courtesy bill and easily passed. It will allow police to hike fines and penalties for breaking the law in all of Ocean City. It will specifically target the broad charge of reckless endangerment. It’s aimed at simplifying the job for police. Something must change on the enforcement front, and this is a logical starting point to give the police more teeth when dealing with reckless endangerment offenders. The concern here is the law will not be enacted until the summer at the earliest, meaning it will not be in place for the spring Cruisin event, which is one of the busiest weekends of the entire year.
Additionally, another logical step in the right direction is the floated ideology to spread out these automotive enthusiasts by offering specific activities away from Ocean City’s Coastal Highway. For example, the promotion company behind two Cruisin events have been talking with a Delmar speedway and drag strip about hosting some burnout events to let vehicle enthusiasts show off their vehicles. Other events discussed include offering hot rod-themed events at the convention center to try and cut down on the “drag strip” mentality that exists over these special vehicle event weekends.
While there are many topics still under consideration, demanding the events just go away entirely would not be an example of a reasonable approach. It shouldn’t even be part of the dialogue. That’s not going to happen because major economics are involved, especially with the Cruisin events.
The task force is headed in the right direction so long as realistic, short-term goals remain the focus.