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Ocean City police prepare for H2Oi despite event’s relocation

Although H2O International’s official event was moved to New Jersey for the 2018 season, the Ocean City Police Department is still anticipating crowds of car enthusiasts beginning Monday, Sept. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 30. After years of disruptive behavior and disorderly conduct during the event, police plan to continue a proactive, no-tolerance enforcement strategy through the week. 

“Our Intelligence Unit has been busy monitoring this event and current social media posts indicate that a number of car enthusiasts plan to come to Ocean City with the intention of being disrespectful to our town,” said Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “Residents and visitors should expect a highly visible police presence and a proactive enforcement strategy.”

Allied agencies will be in Ocean City to assist including the Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, and Maryland Natural Resources Police.

All Ocean City roads will be designated as a Special Event Zone starting on Tuesday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Sept. 30. Speed limit signs will be changed and reduced to 30 MPH on Coastal Highway and Philadelphia Avenue. Additionally, fines will be increased for all speeding violations in Ocean City during the designated dates.

Common traffic violations seen during motor events include speeding, reckless driving, negligent driving and spinning wheels. These violations carry fines up to $530 and up to six points assessed by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to the violator’s driver’s license.

Spectators are advised to keep public sidewalks clear for pedestrian traffic. Open containers on public property, including public sidewalks, streets and alleyways, are strictly prohibited. Anyone violating this local ordinance is subject to a maximum fine of $500 and/or 90 days in jail.

Citizens and business owners are encouraged to be proactive in the event of disruptive behavior and call the Ocean City Police Department immediately at 410-723-6600.

Citizens should expect traffic delays throughout the weekend. Drivers are reminded to use caution, refrain from texting while driving and be aware of pedestrians. Pedestrians are reminded to Walk Smart, use crosswalks, and wait for the signal to change before crossing.

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  1. These kids are having fun and generate a ton of business in a non seasonal event. Police absolutely go out there way to ticket kids who are just looking to show off there cars. There not damaging businesses or fighting. Its loud cars and loud music. Enjoy the business

  2. I will not be attending this year. I have been attending from Canada to OC for this car enthousiast weekend since 2006. I have also vacationed there with family and friends other times of the year. I often rent houses for 1week slots. The mayhem of last year I observed as a complete failure of the law enforcement agencies that were present to protect and serve. Why when there was a problem, was it a all unit response? Was that needed? When all units responded in 1 location, the public took notice of no enforcement present anywhere in sight, and that is when chaos ensued. This happened numerous times on Friday and Saturday. Do a better job controlling the groups/agencies/units and a controlled environment will be maintained. Respond to traffic events in the same fashion as last year, and nothing will change. Won’t matter how much additional manpower/controlled areas/event laws are added for that weekend. My 2cents

  3. I hate that media and police identify this event as something horrific, sure there are bad apples, but bad apples come with every event. Cruise Week for example, street races on coastal highway, burnouts every 5 feet, yet, ocean city doesn’t bat an eye because that event brings so much money to the township. You want the problems of H20i to go away? Stop pulling every car over to write repair orders on stuff your officers are not qualified to understand, open convention center parking lot back up and let people enjoy their time there rather than driving around causing traffic and being instigated to do mischievous stuff. It’s really that simple. Sometimes less is more.

    • I was forced to endure three days last year when the mahem was at its peak. It was no fault of law enforcement officials that created the total disruption and disregard for the peace and tranquility of this beautiful resort town. H2Oi was un invited last year and told to ‘stay away’. Their ‘hobby’ belongs on a race track of some sort and not on the streets of the Ocean City Community.

  4. It makes me very sad when i read articles on H2oi and all the backlash from locals and it’s forced relocation. I have been coming to OC from Ottawa, Ontario , Canada for 10 years specifically for h2oi. I drive a modified VW and have never had any interactions with any police force in OC. We ( multiple friends) started out by going up thursdays for the weekend and enjoyed OC so much that we started going for a full week. This year will be the last year that I am going to OC.
    I can understand that the local people of OC are fed up with all the bullshit that some people are creating when they are in your city and i have no problems with police issuing tickets to these idiot but please understand that you have forced my $$$$$ to go elsewhere. Ps gonna miss Mothers Cantina ALOT!!!!!


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