A Nissan S14 owner already spent $1,300 on one incident, including fines and tows.
Ocean City, MD’s government has successfully implemented a tougher Special Event Zone Bill and pushed an emergency tow ordinance earlier this month increasing the Tow Fee Schedule and, according to a handful of fines and tickets rolling in, these new rules and increased fines are already hitting some early H2OI 2020 attendees hard.
Here’s how Ocean City, MD police can fine you up to and beyond $1,000 this weekend.
Violations of the Maryland Code of Transportation
Special event zone and tow fees aside, any violations of the Maryland Code of Transportation, linked below, are obviously still in effect and subject to a traffic stop and fine. Violations that incur fines include your everyday failing to stop at a stop sign, running a red light, not signaling, distracted driving, and etc.
H2OI 2020 attendees should pay attention to Title 21 and 22, rules of the road and equipment of vehicles, two titles that encompass 80 percent of traffic infractions.
Special Event Zone Fines
Fines in Special Event Zones include increased speeding fines above the Special Event Zone Speed limit of 30 MPH and several additions to the definition of exhibition driving.
Here’s the increased fine schedule for speeding above 30 MPH.
In addition, the following are now included in the definition of exhibition driving according to the Special Event Zone bill. Each below, violating TA 21 1132 (a-e), according to a ticket posted online, is a $530 fine.
- Excessive, abrupt acceleration or braking
- Skidding, tire squealing, burnouts and smoking tires
- Swerving or swaying a vehicle
- Unreasonably loud engine noise
- Grinding gears, backfiring of the engine
- Tires or wheels losing contact with the roadway
- Carrying a passenger on the hood or roof of a vehicle
Increased tow fee schedule that targets cars deemed unsafe to drive
Ocean City Police pulled a fast one and passed an emergency towing ordinance that not only allowed fines to increase but added only a licensed tow company can tow your car OUT OF IMPOUND if police deemed your car illegal to drive on Maryland’s roads.
According to Sec 90-256 (b)
b) Any vehicles impounded at the Police Departments impound lot which cannot be legally driven or has mechanical issues preventing the vehicle from being driven, shall only be towed off the impound lot by a licensed towing company as defined in Section 90- 224 and a properly inspected and approved tow truck of said licensed company.
You cannot get your friend to bring a trailer to the tow yard to get your car out.
Ocean City was supposed to update their towing fees schedule online linked here, but, thanks to an anonymous tip, the increased tow fees are as follows.
What a $1,000+ ticket looks like.
The $1,000 ticket includes one or two fines that deem your car illegal to drive on Maryland roads, $985 worth of towing fees, and $100+ to get your car towed out by a licensed tow company.
Here’s a screenshot of the average ticket you might get with $210 worth of fines.
(a) (1) A person may not drive and the owner may not cause or knowingly permit to be driven on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles that
(i) Is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person;(ii) Does not contain those parts or is not at all times equipped with lamps and other equipment in proper condition and adjustment as required in this title; or
(iii) Is equipped in any manner in violation of this title.
TA 22-405(a) states,
(a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway unless the motor vehicle is equipped with tires in safe operating condition, in accordance with requirements approved by the Administrator.
“Approved by administrator” seems to refer to Maryland’s DOT rules on the safety standards for passenger cars, linked here. There’s a subsection on Wheels and Tires and what they define as “unsafe.”
Ocean City police will use the above DOT definitions to cite your car as unsafe thanks to bald tires, extreme camber, stretched tires, too low and etc.
The $1,000+ ticket, thanks to the increased tow fees, is as follows
- $210 in fines
- $250 tow
- $600 specialized tow equipment
- $35 dollies
- $50 one day storage
- $50 admin fee
- $100 tow OUT of the tow yard by a licensed tow co.
Here’s a screenshot of the aforementioned Nissan 240 owner listing out $1,295 in fines.
If your car is in good working order, isn’t excessively dangerous to drive, and you follow all the rules of the road to a T, you should be fine in Ocean City.
If you show up with extreme camber, mismatched tires, lowered to the ground, and, act like a hoon, a $1,000+ ticket is inevitable.