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  1. #1
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    smoking ban enforcement is a joke

    At the beach for the first time this season. The smoking ban on the beach and boardwalk is a great idea but is not being enforced. The life guards are not able to enforce but if you see someone smoking on the beach your supposed to call a phone number. Really? And the smoking on the boardwalk hasn't changed and I don't see the O.C. police stopping it. So why enact a law if its not going to be enforced?

  2. #2
    Senior Member OCGuy's Avatar
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    One of the delays / objections to the smoking ban was that the OCBP indicated they did not intend to enforce it and it was generally agreed that they would not be expected to (which makes total sense as they need to stay focused on protecting swimmers). However, it would seem like the OCPD could make some effort to enforce the ban on the Boardwalk. I wonder how many citations or warnings have been issued for smoking (or for that matte, dog walking) on the boardwalk this season.

    I also really hate to see laws passed and not enforced. My experience is that without enforcement, the biggest offenders continue bad behavior in spite of the law, and those who were more courteous in their smoking (or dog walking, or whatever) tend to follow the law. Thus, the problem element who drove the law remain, while the law impacts and inconveniences the people who were not the problem.

    I fear the same issue may be coming with the impending "Cruise Weekend" regulations - those who trash the town will continue to do so without penalty, those who don't trash the place won't come because pending regulations are too onerous.

  3. #3
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    Tough to enforce them on the beach. Mayor and Council admitted that they would not be actively enforcing smoking regs. It is more of an educational thing in my opinion. Many smokers don't even realize that the ban exists. The Town hasn't exactly gone out of their way to educate people (read....they still need smokers tourism $$). I was encouraged the past few weeks that someone has hired a plane to announce the beach smoking ban (not sure if it was the Town or an individual). I do think that the partial ban will help in the future regardless of enforcement....just not as well as if they did enforce it.

    The new ordinances being discussed aimed at car/bike shows etc have a little more teeth because it puts the onus on the individual as well as the businesses that allow it to happen. They HAVE to crack down on this. Ocean City is one burnout going bad, jumping the curb and taking out about a dozen people, away from serious liability. Everybody knows the danger to human life exists. Doing nothing about it would be criminally negligent. I'm guessing the lawyers and insurance companies have gotten involved.

  4. #4
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    So basically the law is to pacify us non-smokers I suppose. Too bad.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Z06RL's Avatar
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    Ric, I think you hit the nail on the head. OC has a history of passing all sorts of ordinances to "pacify" the complainers. People complain about the noise on the boardwalk, so an ordinance gets passed. People's cigarette smoke and butts bother people who don't smoke, so an ordinance gets passed. Did you know there are actually signs on the boardwalk asking people not to swear? Look for them , they're there. They pass ordinances to contain the number of street performers on the boardwalk and the performers complain. People complained about the number of car trailers parked during the car events (which by the way, the May one is one of the largest money makers for all of OC) so they are looking to pass an ordinance to prohibit trailers being parked anywhere in OC. That will KILL the car shows, but the residents will be happy.
    So what will happen? People who don't like cigarettes will go to a beach where the no smoking ban is enforced. Car people will go to another beach town and be welcomed, trailers and all, People with dogs will find a beach where they can bring their dogs along in the summer.
    The city CANNOT please everyone. There will always be people who want things THEIR way and nobody is ever going to agree with everything. I wouldn't want to be on OC's City Council for anything.
    Ask an OC Insider

  6. #6
    Senior Member tfunkhouser's Avatar
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    So they question is if the ban trailers along the streets will they enforce ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ric View Post
    So basically the law is to pacify us non-smokers I suppose. Too bad.
    Yea....pretty much. It has become the American Way. Not to get political but isn't our President ignoring laws that have been passed....even telling the Justice Department to ignore them?

    Like I said....passing the law will help a little but I don't see how they can effectively enforce it on the beach. Is anyone in favor of the OCPD patrolling the beach to catch smokers (careful how you answer this if you like to sneak a beer or two in your cooler)? Anyone in favor of requiring people to buy beach tags to help pay for it?

    I'm not a smoker but it is just not that big a deal on the beach. I don't go to the boardwalk so I can't respond to that.

    And Z....I get your point but people will not stop coming to OC because of these laws. People WILL stop coming if these car show/special events continue to spiral out of control. Don't know about trailers but the lining up on the sidewalks openly drinking and cheering on burnouts right on Coastal Highway is a recipe for disaster.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeMan View Post
    the lining up on the sidewalks openly drinking and cheering on burnouts right on Coastal Highway is a recipe for disaster.
    So, we need to make up some new laws, because the police won't enforce the already existing ones??? yea, that sounds about right....

  9. #9
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    I stopped coming to Cruiser Weeks (Spring/Fall) back in the early 2000's. People always lined the streets to cheer on burnouts.

    I think the big problem (a little then) now is that its turned into a spring break party for younger people.

    As far as nuissance, back in the late 90's the Diesel pickups and "Imports" of that era were undesirable. Technology the past 10 years and aftermarket has exploded has something to do with it too.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanM View Post
    So, we need to make up some new laws, because the police won't enforce the already existing ones??? yea, that sounds about right....
    Yes. Open containers on public property are illegal. The new ordinance that I am referring to is about parking on private property for the purpose of gathering to party and watch the cruisers. Take the H2O crowd as an example. Last year they took over the 45th Street parking lot to party, watch burnouts etc....with permission from the owner. The owners will no longer be able to do this without a special permit. The parking must be left available for the purpose intended (restaurant etc). The owners of the property must TRY to avoid this from happening (have security, post signs etc) or they will be culpable along with the violators. I actually think getting the private property owners to have skin in the game is a good idea.

    I actually commend the Mayor and Council for trying to do SOMETHING. Damned if they do...damned if they don't. It wasn't long ago that many of the same people complaining about new ordinances were on here saying that something had to be done for these weekends or people will stop coming. Now they are saying passing new ordinances will encourage people to stop coming.

    Policing and enforcing these rules needs to improve. This is the case with every law they have on the books. I personally think jaywalking and crossing against the light should be more heavily enforced. If passing these ordinances does nothing but save one life, they are worth it.

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