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Maryland State Police News Release

State Police Urge Extra Caution In Worcester Co. As Special Event Zone Takes Effect Sept. 21 – Sept. 26, 2021

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police join law enforcement partners as part of a safety alliance committed to increasing safety and reducing traffic crashes throughout Worcester County’s “Special Event Zone” this week.

Motorists are urged to take extra caution while traveling through Worcester County. Starting Tuesday, September 21 through Sunday, September 26, 2021, the Special Event Zone will be in effect throughout Worcester County.  The special safety enforcement initiative is in response to the anticipated high volume of motor vehicles and pedestrians on/near the roadways during a pop up car rally in Ocean City. This initiative is aimed at unsafe driving behaviors which can contribute to traffic crashes.    

The Special Event Zone is a bill that was signed into law in 2018 allowing authorities in Worcester County to designate the county, or areas of the county as special event zones on or alongside a highway during large events, particularly motor events. Maryland legislation signed in 2020 allowed for increased penalties for specific motor vehicle violations to include “exhibition driving”.

Maryland law defines “exhibition driving” as abrupt deceleration or acceleration, skidding, squealing, burning or smoking of the tires of a motor vehicle, swerving or swaying of a motor vehicle from side to side while skidding, producing an unreasonably loud, raucous or disturbing noise from a motor vehicle’s engine, grinding the gears of backfiring the engine of a motor vehicle, popping the wheels of a car off the ground and transporting a passenger on the roof or hood of a car. Violators can face increased fines, or in some cases arrest, if violations occur in a Special Event Zone.

Maryland State Police along with local law enforcement partners will be patrolling throughout Worcester County in both marked and unmarked vehicles. Unsafe driving behaviors including distracted and aggressive driving, speeding, improper lane changing, following too close and exhibition driving will be among the actions police will be looking for.  

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Personnel are assisting law enforcement by illuminating overhead signs with messages to indicate the active Special Event Zone. For more information about the Special Event Zone that will be in effect, visit the Town of Ocean City’s website at https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/police/special-event-zone/

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CONTACT: Office of Media Communications, msp.media@maryland.gov


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