By Rachael Cardin

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A social media event has been drawing thousands of people to Ocean City, Maryland the last few years for a car show, but the mayor tells WJZ those in attendance cause problems and terrorize the area.

Mayor Rick Meehan expects people with the car show will start trickling into the area starting Tuesday evening and he’s worried about the safety of residents and is even putting harsher punishments in place for those who break the law.

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Ocean City, Maryland officials are preparing for a pop-up car rally in the beach resort town starting Tuesday.

The unauthorized event will be help Sept. 22-27 and city officials are warning OCMD visitors to exercise caution this weekend. Excessive noise, extreme traffic delays and increased law enforcement presence.

Businesses can sign up to have police patrol their properties after hours to break up large gatherings.

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Video from last year’s pop up car show, also known as H2Oi, captured a driver hitting bystanders on the street after losing control of the car.

The mayor said dangerous driving like this put people in harm’s way. This year new laws were passed so traffic violations can pack a heavier punch with increased fines and the ability to impound cars.

The town has created a special event zone to help deter motor violations by lowering speed limits and increasing fines and penalties.

Meehan said last year about 1,400 citations were written in just the two to three days that the unofficial car show went on. This year 200 plus officers will be on patrol at all times to keep the streets safe for everyone.

Officials also warn of significant traffic congestion.

“Due to the pop-up car rally, this upcoming weekend is not going to be a typical fall weekend at the beach,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “We encourage our residents to avoid traveling on Coastal Highway if possible, as traffic is going to be unusually heavy. In addition, we urge our visitors seeking a family-friendly experience to plan a visit to Ocean City for another weekend. We pride ourselves on being a coastal community that everyone can enjoy year-round, but unfortunately, we are asking everyone to please exercise caution before deciding to visit Ocean City this weekend.”

The mayor said some restaurants and bars are closing down for the weekend because they don’t want to risk their employees being out when the large group from the car show is in Ocean City.

Residents and visitors can learn more about the Special Event Zone in Ocean City at oceancitymd.gov/specialeventzone.

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Note: This story was originally published on Monday, September 21, 2020. 

Rachael Cardin