By on September 27, 2014

oceancity

You know Facebook’s passe when the cops are using it to talk to citizens. In this case, it’s the Ocean City (MD) Police Department, warning visitors to the H2O International event of their “zero tolerance policy” for traffic violations, vehicle modifications, and compliance with Maryland motor vehicle regulations.

Even if the motor vehicle in question is registered somewhere else.

This video shows “stanced” cars, featuring “poke and stretch” running gear where the tire is deliberately chosen to be considerably narrower than the rim. Think of it as the opposite of the 285-width-tires-on-a-7-inch-wide-wheel thing that SCCA National Solo types do. Most of these cars have some sort of air-ride suspension so they can be dropped on or near the ground, which causes some fairly outrageous negative camber. The Ocean City Police vigorously prosecutes cars like this at H2O, going to far as to impound them, as seen happening to a stanced TSX at around the three-minute mark.

I cannot recommend that readers watch the entire video but I did, mostly to get a sense of who goes to the H2O thing. I wasn’t surprised: by and large it’s awkward young men of all ethnicities, with a bunch of puppy fat and goofy clothing, having fun and harming no one. They’re very excited about having a cooler full of Bud Light or playing beer pong or just hanging out on the sidewalk. There’s a little bit of dangerous driving in the video but frankly you can see worse on the Chicago or Detroit freeways every day of the week.

So why bother them? Well, they have money. They’ll pay fines, they’ll pay tickets. Most of them are very nice kids and the last thing they want to is have a warrant out for their arrest, even if it’s not in their home state. They’ll lead chants and yell at the police from a distance but this ain’t Ferguson or Watts and nobody’s actually going to do anything on either side. In fact, you could argue that the police harassment is desired by the participants, at least on a subconscious level. For the rest of their safe, reasonable, middle-class adult lives they’ll be able to remember how they once drove a stanced-out Jetta to Ocean City and called some cop an asshole. It’s cathartic and helpful and I’d bet you that if there were no cops at H2O this year a lot of people would miss them. It’s their Woodstock. It’s their chance to fight the system, and if the system doesn’t show then there’s nothing to fight.

Some major percentage of you will have watched 90 seconds of the video by this point and decided, “I don’t care if the OCPD harasses those mooks. Hell, I rather approve of the idea that you shouldn’t be allowed to drive some bagged-out rustbucket with fifteen degrees of negative camber and a nightmarishly unsafe tire installation on the freeway.” Well, I don’t want to come across all Martin Niemoller on you, but these amiable morons with their visible wheel lips and ironic T-shirts and NISMO posters in their mothers’ basements are sort of canaries in the coal mine for the rest of us.

Until the day comes that California manages to impose its state vehicle regulations by fiat on the rest of the United States — and may that day never come — the presence on your vehicle of an out-of-state tag should be an absolute and unquestionable defense against motor vehicle specification enforcement of any type. Yes, that freedom could certainly be abused; think of all those twentysomething children of divorce whose fathers live somewhere else. Yet the minor abuses do not justify the major abuses that could be commonplace were it to be any other way.

As an example: Residents of southern states where deep tint is legal and virtually necessary due to the sunlight should not be afraid to drive through Ohio where every cop has a light meter and expects that your windows will not be any darker than the factory tint on a Somerset Regal’s windshield. If you live in Kentucky and don’t have to run a front plate, you shouldn’t have your car impounded in Ohio because it doesn’t have a front plate. Conversely, Ohio-registered cars from counties where there is no emissions checks shouldn’t be subject to drive-by monitoring in California.

As a society, we’ve come to expect that, although the vast majority of laws are the same everywhere in the country, there are exceptions and those exceptions should be respected. For that reason, the holder of a “shall-issue” concealed-carry permit from Indiana shouldn’t expect to be allowed to carry his gun on the New York subway. Nor should a Montana rancher be granted a special dispensation to graze his cattle in Central Park.

So long as personal vehicles remain the key to American freedom of mobility, however, it is critical that they be allowed to travel unimpeded through this country, with their owners free from the fear of persecution or impounding. The protection of Ocean City’s residents from “stanced” cars is not sufficient justification for a departure from this national understanding. So today I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with every awkward twenty-something with “illest” in his Subaru. Every tatted-up wanna-be thug with a private-school background and a poke-and-stretch setup on his M3. Every floor-staring, bowl-haircut, Magic-the-Gathering-playing doofus* with two thousand hours’ worth of labor in his Rabbit pickup. I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with them to demand that we treat them, and the rest of us, like hard-working, decent American citizens who are causing no trouble and deserve no punishment.

I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. I’m not sure I’d go within ten miles of that place for ten thousand bucks.

* It takes one to know one. Untap, upkeep, draw!

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125 Comments on “Can Ocean City Enforce Maryland Vehicle Laws On Out Of State Cars? Well, They’re Gonna Try...”


  • avatar

    Ah, the age old battle between hot rodders* of all stripes and The Man.

    It’s a win-win all around though. The car guys get to bitch about the actions of the cops; OCPD and the city managers get seen to be “doing something about it” as they rake in fines; hotels and restaurants (and gas stations) do brisk business with the visitors. The only hitch is when something breaks the cycle, and oppressive police action may just do that, maybe not this year but soon.

    *And yes, I’d put most of these folks into the “hot rodders” camp – everyone is taking stock vehicles, be it a 32 Ford, 57 Chevy or 2002 Honda, and making it their own.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      …ah,no, let’s not make this an age old cops versus kids and their cars battle. This is current young kids enjoying a specific car hobby versus just one Sheriff Arpaio wannabe Ocean City police chief rewarding a group of conventioneers that come to safely show off their trick cars with possibly impounding their cars. The only thing I need to know is: have the kids met in Ocean City before for this ‘meetup’, how did they behave in the past, and how did the OC police treat them at that time? From the kids perspective, if they indeed have met in Ocean City before, why continue to meet there? Maybe it’s not as bad an experience as the announcement from Ocean City purports it to be, taking everything the participants who’ve done this before remember from the last time they met there.

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        @snakebit > This is current young kids enjoying a specific car hobby versus just one Sheriff Arpaio wannabe Ocean City police chief rewarding a group of conventioneers that come to safely show off their trick cars with possibly impounding their cars.

        Speaking of wannabes, H2O is a VW/Audi event – yet I see a lot of wannabes in JDM or domestic automobiles with the fart-can exhausts and tacky styling bringing an element to the attendance which tends to compound the problem.

        • 0 avatar

          The culture runs deeper than the brand. I show up at Chevy shows with my Ramblers and its not as a wannabe but as someone who appreciates the general car interest who doesn’t have a running Chevy.

        • 0 avatar
          snakebit

          Dante,
          You know, when I first read this time about the H2O convention in Ocean City, I thought,”cool, the water-cooled VW folks are letting the JDM folk in on the fun, too. I sense that at least one H2O guy is not fine with that, but that’s a issue for the organizers and the non H2O drivers to work out. Personally, I help run autocrosses for a British sports car, and invariably we get drivers of, say, G20’s and Mustangs who want timed runs, themselves. Because there aren’t that many of them, we always let them run the autocross. From a practical standpoint, if you have a large number of non H20 participants, you’ll just need to make a decision whether to allow them to be part of your event.

          Franz, same issue. I think car clubs of American marques used to have good natured rivalrys(you know,Ford(Chevy,Mopar,etc)-breakfast of champions, you’ve seen the T-shirts and car stickers. Again, just my opinion, but if I was organizing a Ford event, and you wanted to bring your AMC(AMX, Javelin, Rogue V8, etc), I’d be fine with that.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      I once saw an HHR that was lowered to the ground, the county strip had been replaced with two middle finger stickers, and there were stickers on the back that said stuff like “Not low enough. Fat girls welcome.”

      Then, some fat guy in his 30’s and his fat wife were in it. I almost laughed.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    This sort of thing is why we used to have a constitution. If these twerps go to Ocean City knowing they’re going to be harassed, there is nothing bad enough that can happen to them. I’m tired of imbeciles that patronize scumbags who treat them like the garbage they are and then complain about it.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    How to guarantee replies on a Saturday 101: mention law enforcement.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Or any day of the week. It’s an important topic.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @kaosaur,

        Did he fight it or pay it?

        Unfortunately, the only way this gets sorted out is for someone to fight it. Which takes deep pockets and commitment, and may actually be very difficult to do for civil infractions like a tint ticket.

        But seriously, $400?!? Just for tint or was this a case of “contempt of cop”?

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          Nope, it got paid.

          It was just the tint as well; my friend is one of those super-polite, respectful-of-authority, middle-class white folk. Being rude to a cop has never even crossed his mind. The cop didn’t even know what the fine was going to be and said he’d be see the cost when he went online to pay it.

          • 0 avatar
            bosozoku

            In Atlanta I’ll see at least half a dozen cars each day with full limo tint, including the windshield. I’m talking about so dark you can’t tell if someone wearing a day-glo suit is in the driver’s seat in broad daylight. So far I’ve never seen anyone pulled over or ticketed about it, and this is in an area with higher-that-usual police presence (but also higher-than-usual average income, so maybe that helps).

  • avatar
    Kaosaur

    Georgia has less-friendly tint laws than the neighboring states and two years ago a friend I was traveling with got a $400 ticket for illegal tint outside Macon, GA for his South Carolina registered and legally tinted car.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Jack, I 100% agree with you

    But oddly,the OC cops aren’t nearly as strident during the Ocean City Car Cruise in May. At that event, they do burnouts and drag races (maybe 200 yards) right on the main boulevard. You really have to try to get in trouble at that event.

    But more importantly, your point about applying Maryland inspection laws to out of state cars is right on. However, I see the day coming when we federalize safety and emissions regulations. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      I’m not necessarily in favor of federal emissions regs, but it does make me angry that I must test my 18 yo Civic every year, but my step-brother in the next county over (4 miles from my house) takes great pride in cutting the cats out of his trucks and running a “chipped” ECU. We have similar commutes into a major city, and yet only I must deal with the man sniffing up my exhaust pipe (or OBDII port as it were).

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “the presence on your vehicle of an out-of-state tag should be an absolute and unquestionable defense against motor vehicle specification enforcement of any type.”

    So bald tires are good, just so long as they carry out of state plates?

    There is a limit to the logic of your argument. Safety violations are not comparable to providing reciprocity to a car that was issued one license plate as it is being driven in a different state that issues two.

    That being said, this is the problem with “states rights.” Invariably, they are used as a justification for at least some people having fewer of them.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Federalism, states rights and mutual reciprocity by states are important. But. If these goofs want to show off under controlled conditions, fine. OTOH, I would be alarmed to see a car with this type of suspension geometry active in ordinary driving. I can’t even imagine how one of these would handle an on-ramp. What about fail-safe design, they got that? There you are, returning from a weekend of fun and frolic at 70mph on an interstate and suddenly you are six inches lower, bouncing off the pavement as the suspension does its work, plus facing the possibility of rolling a tire clean off the too large rim as it deals with with clown car levels of camber. Maybe controlled conditions mean bring it on a trailer. You’d do that for a monster truck or rail dragster, wouldn’t you? It would be a shame if we went all German TUV regulatory, but this sure begs for better oversight.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I have my doubts that some off-camber wheels are going to be the end of western civilization. It sounds as if the cops don’t care for the event, and are just looking for justifications to be able to stop people because they don’t like the look of them. It probably has more to do with control than revenue.

        The unfortunate thing about our constitutional form of government is that it provides incredible incentives for law enforcement to manufacture all sorts of justifications for stopping you, since they are required to have a reason. You don’t find this pretense in other western democracies where they simply stop you because they can.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          pch101

          I’d pay cash money to watch them do an autocross. I predict hilarity would ensue. Such hilarity wouldn’t end western civilization, of course.

          Agreed the cops probably don’t like the event, in part because the drivers are young whippersnappers and in part because – I assume – they drive these cars to and from the event. The cops can’t win – if they discourage the event, they are old meanies. If they don’t and one of the modified cars does a bellyflop in transit to/from the event, they are accused of not doing their job. As for impounding a car at the event, would the cops do the same if Ocean City had a dragstrip?

    • 0 avatar

      “So bald tires are good, just so long as they carry out of state plates?”

      Bald tires are most probably illegal in their home state, so that is not a good example.

      The OCPD posting is just bluster. It’s like the “drug laws will be strictly enforced” postings at rock concerts, where the concert goers openly smoke pot 20 yard from the cops. The postings are meant to warn that excessive behavior will be punished to the full extent of the law, but it’s in neither party’s interest to probe the extent to which the other will go.

      I doubt anyone really got a ticket for “negative camber”, most likely some other infraction such as tire spinning, loud expletive-laden music or even driving too slowly, but those are harder to quantify and prove really happened at a later date so the ticket is issued for the obvious violation.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        He isn’t accounting for its legality or lack thereof out of state. He is specifically arguing that those who are from out of state should be given a pass simply because they aren’t from the local jurisdiction. (“The presence on your vehicle of an out-of-state tag should be an absolute and unquestionable defense against motor vehicle specification enforcement of any type.”)

        He’s offering a slippery slope argument. I would suggest that there are some rather obvious weaknesses to that argument, although I do see where he is coming from and am not entirely unsympathetic.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      “allowing disabled and helpless people to be beaten to death because the government encouraged people to view them as worthless, selfish scroungers.”

      Bald tires are also illegal in the home state.

      The problem is stuff that is fully legal around home should have a legal standing in other states just as a drivers license or registration in home state is valid for travel elsewhere.

      My advice to the drivers is move your event (and your tourist money) elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “allowing disabled and helpless people to be beaten to death because the government encouraged people to view them as worthless, selfish scroungers.”

        Why can’t I find that quote anywhere else on the page?
        Something deleted? Kind of wondered what that had to do with anything here.

    • 0 avatar

      Any state without inspection would allow bald tires. Here’s the thing, and it goes beyond cars, banning modified or unsafe cars anywhere is a preventive law. There are plenty of laws that ban reckless driving that you can be charged with in any state. Bald tires are safe enough at 35 mph just like a model T. Operators need to use common sense, a stock model t at 75 is probably reckless and a stock 911 at 120 is probably under complete control. Laws should punish crimes and damages not the potential to do so.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Comment of the month.

        There never will be some absolute, God given, amount of tolerable risk. What some people deem reasonable, others may not. What some can do safely, others can not. As in managing to talk on a phone and not run over kids at the same time. Or powering up a car with camber somewhat different from manufacturers recommended specs without immediately swerving into a crowded daycare facility…

        Free societies give great leeway to do as you please, according to your own judgement of what is fair and proper risk. And then keep overall levels of exposing others to risk by adjusting the levels of punishment for those who do miscalculate; by lowering their ability to get away, and by upping the severity of punishment when they do get caught. If too much crazy goes on, people will be willing to fork over a bit more to hire more cops to up the apprehension risk of those who screw up. Or crank up the punishment meted out to those unlucky offenders who do get caught. Either way works.

        In unfree societies, the whole purpose is just to dream up excuses for why the ruling classes needs to interfere in the lives and wallets of others.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          This is akin to arguing that we should never give the baby a bath because there is no definitive bathing period and there’s a risk of tossing him out with the bathwater. It doesn’t make much sense.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            You miss the point entirely. It is like making a law concerning bathing intervals for young children. Certainly not bathing your three year old for several months could qualify as child abuse with hefty penalties but applying some arbitrary regulation under the force of law is rediculous if the goal is punishing such abuse.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Seriously? Bald tires are unsafe at any speed. A few months ago, while sitting at a red traffic signal, I was rear-ended. The driver of that car was doping off and he apparently didn’t see me, or the red light. He slammed on the brakes and skidded on the wet pavement. After I had a look at his car, I saw the problem: worn out tires. The speed limit on that road, BTW, is 25 and I doubt this guy was speeding. He just wasn’t the type. Rather, he was the type who sees his car as a necessary evil deserving of as little attention as possible.

        While I’m as much a federalist as anyone, if the folks in a state want to prohibit “lifted” pickups beyond a certain number of inches, blacked-out windows, over-cambered wheels or even impose more strict emission standards than those mandated by federal law, I don’t have a problem with that.

        The feds certainly have the power to issue permissibly pre-emptive regulations should they choose to do so. As it is, federal regulations are preemptive of state requirements that are more permissive than federal. For the most part, motor vehicles operate interstate, so I don’t have a problem with the feds imposing their authority.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I thought da kidz didn’t care about cars no more.

    This just looks like a giant version of The Strip in Anytown, USA that we’ve had every Friday and Saturday night since the ’50s. First world herd behavior, hot chicks, stupid guys and inebriants. Hardly warrants a SWAT team.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Just because a manufacturer recommends a certain wheel size and camber specification does not automatically make a different tire size and camber unsafe.

    If they are breaking traffic laws and causing a nuisance, then by all means, ticket them, but lets not pretend that stopping them for showing a little negative camber has anything to do with safety.

    The truth is that Ocean City is Marylands summer playground, and in the winter, all the revenue dries up, so they need alternative sources of revenue.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “Just because a manufacturer recommends a certain wheel size and camber specification does not automatically make a different tire size and camber unsafe.”

      Tires have a minimum and maximum width specification and exceeding either one is about as smart as stepping outside the shower to take a piss. The only caveat I’ve seen to that rule is when an OE vehicle manufacturer extensively tests the vehicle with a tire that exceeds those limits in a specific application.

      The “poke & stretch” and extreme camber phenomenon is foolishness especially in combination with your typical car owner’s predilection for not consistently maintaining their vehicle, especially tire pressure.

      If these cars were operated exclusively in a closed venue or trailered to an event it wouldn’t be a big deal but typically these are young people with limited experience and limited means using their daily transportation using spotty techniques (tires were never designed to be mated to a wheel with an explosive material) to achieve the look and generally unable to safely maintain the vehicle due to limited income.

      Next time your out take a look at the condition of your typical “stanced” car. Its a clapped out piece of crap in a general state of disrepair and with that in mind take a look at one in operation. They don’t absorb bumps well if at all and the limited contact patch on the road can seriously effect the vehicles ability to operate in wet weather (no FWD vehicle should be wiggling the stern like a RWD car in standing water).

      about the only positive thing to come out of this is the experience to be had in trying to operate the vehicle and the issues it creates especially when things go very wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        It’s true that many of the stanced cars are horrible death traps, but just as many are kept in near perfect condition by the owner. From my experience, half of these are owned by broke college kids, and the other half are owned by people with decent jobs making way more money than me.

        However, the same could be said about almost any vehicle on the road. I would bet a substantial amount of money that if police stopped every car that went in or out of OC, at least 20% would be deemed unsafe due to bald tires, non functional equipment, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        On the other end of the spectrum, look at those thugs that drive the Crown Vics with 25″ wheels that cost more than the yearly rent at the one-room motel.

        Most of these people are also on food stamps and had a .75 GPA before dropping out of high school, yet they wait in line at Cumberland for the new J’s and complain that McDonald’s should pay them fifteen bucks an hour.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          Got caught behind a pack of these guys on I-20 recently. All Crown Vics, all on pioneer wagon-sized wheels. Without a doubt those were the worst drivers I’ve ever had the misfortune to get stuck behind. Donks handle like crap, can’t exceed 55 because their brakes can’t stop them from a higher speed, and accelerate at a snail’s pace because… physics.

          I’m no big fan of stancers, but I’ll take them all day long over these imbeciles rollin’ on 26’s.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “Donks handle like crap, can’t exceed 55 because their brakes can’t stop them from a higher speed, and accelerate at a snail’s pace because… physics.”

            I’d be interested in hearing the scientific explanation for the supposed braking issues.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            This is simple. Those gigantic wheels and tires are REALLY heavy. Like 50+lbs per corner. Imagine driving down the road with 4 enormous flywheels attached to your car. And even worse, the mass is concentrated at the rim, improving the flywheel effect. And most of the tires in these sizes are Chinese crap. And it is not like Chevy Caprice are known for their fine braking and handling ability in stock form, adding 200lbs+ of unsprung flywheels and 35″ of extra ground clearance is going to do them no favors at all.

            The REALLY scary thing is that I was in a store that rented (seriously?!) and sold this sort of things a few years back – nearly all of them had stickers saying “for show and exhibition use only” I was stuck in Lima OH for a weekend, the store was in the local Mall, I was curious. Not a wasted weekend, I spent one day at the Air Force Museum in Dayton.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I guess I can’t respond properly. Anything I type with more than one paragraph is flagged as spam today. The difference is equivalent to 300 pounds of static mass. Brakes should be able to handle that difference.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If the stock tires are 225/70R15 (28 lb) on steel rims (25 lb), then the wheels are about 53 pounds each or 212 pounds total. Assuming that the radial weight distribution is closer to that of a solid disc (say, 1.7 factor), the effective mass is 360 lb.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If the aftermarket tires are 305/30R26 (40 lb) on 26×10 rims (50 lb), then the wheels are about 90 pounds each or 360 pounds total. Assuming the radial weight distribution is close to that of a thin ring (say, 1.9 factor), the effective mass is 684 lb.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            So we’re looking at an effective difference of 320 pounds. Are you saying the car can’t stop if two high school boys are in the back seat? Sure, it’s now taller too, but the center of gravity is typically still lower than that of most pickup trucks and SUVs. The extra tread width of the low profile tires would even improve grip as long as the road isn’t terribly rough.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I think those wheels are ridiculous; an affront to sensible engineering. I don’t see them as being inherently unsafe though. They certainly hinder performance on all but the smoothest roads, but you can also say that about the wheels on most newer vehicles, and the tires on older vehicles typically aren’t optimized for performance in any situation.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            And the magic spam word was . . .

            “cons*der”.

            I had it in all my failed post attempts. What’s the filter seeing in that word?

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        And yet such vehicles make up a tiny fraction of road accidents. If things were so bad you would have to see a disproportionate number af incidents involving these cars. But you don’t. Your stance is nothing but feel good pandering at the expense of a minority population. You seem so suggest a disproportionate effort against a minor issue. Like trying to ram through “assault weapon” laws in response to gun crimes when the object in question is among the least popular weapon in such crimes. That thinking is ludicrous even IF you place any stock in pre crime at all.

  • avatar
    Hillman

    I will never understand why these types of places go out of their way to destroy the industry that makes them so profitable. You saw it with Vegas and how that turned out. If Ocean city Md becomes a place where the young people with disposable income do not want to go then it will end up costing a lot of good hard working people their jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      To be fair, statistically speaking the people with the most disposable income right now are retiring or near-retiring baby boomers. For evidence look no further than the ever increasing average age of a car buyer.

      I am sure Ocean City would be thrilled if these “rowdy young kids” never came back. I have a hunch that they have visions of their town being visited by an army of plain boring baby boomers walking around antiquing. I guess if that’s what they want then fine. I just hope they are thinking of the future too. Eventually the baby boomers will die and I for one as a current 32 year old really can’t envision myself roaming some board walk gawking at fake antique furniture and gaudy baubles.

      No, I don’t dig the stance thing. I do think that they are pushing their luck. I love a lowered car as much as anyone; heck I wouldn’t mind an inch and a half off my RSX-S. But stance is certainly pushing things on handling and controllability. Still, Ocean City is definitely putting off a “no fun allowed” vibe.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      As a 50+ year resident of DC metro, I’m familair with the sociology of Ocean City. For as long as I can remember, OC has had the repulation as where the “rif-raf” goes to the beach in the DC Metro area. The right sort of people go to the Delaware Beaches: Rehoboth, Bethany, even Dewey Beach. So, I suspect what’s behind this is the OC city fathers determining that this crowd is not a crowd they want to encourage to partake of OC’s charms. Just as with masses of half-drunk collegians, there is an opportunity cost to having these kinds of folks in town: they discourage everyone else from coming.

      • 0 avatar
        bosozoku

        And yet the summer weekend traffic on the roads between the DC Metro and Ocean City are the stuff of legend. Not one holiday weekend will you be able to make that drive without a substantial delay. Perhaps OC would like to position itself as a more upscale destination, but it sure has no shortage of summertime visitors regardless.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    FWIW ;

    California doesn’t impound stupidly modified cars , they issue tickets , reams of them and lets the kiddies go play .

    I have a mental picture here of Sheriff Jackie Gleason hollering ‘ Scumbags ! ‘ as he hooks them up and impounds their cars……

    -Nate

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    So I watched the whole thing… endless ordinary production vehicles with their wheels all stove up into the wells. And an off-duty TSA screener in orange shorts who air humps them.

    Holy crap, this makes the racing crowd seem enlightened.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I wish that the motor vehicle code would be enforced more rigorously with respect to the absurd, lifted trucks. Off road….fine, do what you want. In a city, lights shining through all windows of a sedan, or truck bumpers higher than the trunk of a Civic, are dangerous. Where are the cops then???

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So I hope everyone arguing that states need to respect each others laws (as I would too) believes that states ought to respect each others laws and contracts in ALL respects.

    You know like marriage licenses.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      In that situation, I’d suggest that the proper thing to do is treat out-of-state married couples like married couples, until they change residence to that state, just like these stancers would be subject to Maryland law when they move there.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I just hate hypocrites Jack, whether I agree with their initial points or not. :)

        I know your views tend to be very consistent on any subject (reading this site daily will prove that) I’m just cautioning some of the frothing at the mouth die-hard regular contributors on here of all political stripes.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          Bad analogy.

          If states were fining gay couples when they crossed state lines, you might have a point.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @jacob_coulter – bull$hit. If you have a philosophy of government that says that states respect each other’s laws and contracts than that means ALL laws and contracts.

            My straight marriage doesn’t become invaliad when I cross from NM into CO. My 1st marriage doesn’t become “re-valid” if I go from NM (where the divorce was finalized) back to OH where the marriage was performed.

            In the same vein I don’t expect Ohio to ticket me for my NM legal tint when I take a cross country trip to visit my parents. I don’t expect Ohio to ticket me for lack of front license plate either.

            Oh and currently Texas is refusing to let a gay couple divorce because they don’t recognize the marriage as valid in the first place.

        • 0 avatar
          slow kills

          “I just hate hypocrites Jack,…I’m just cautioning some of the frothing at the mouth die-hard regular contributors on here of all political stripes.”
          WTF? And I hate dumbasses, but am certainly not insinuating that anyone here is one!
          You are cautioning about inconsistency? The article had a paragraph about exceptions that should be respected. I’d hate for anyone to be inconsistent or hypocritical about that part.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        “Until the day comes that California manages to impose its state vehicle regulations by fiat on the rest of the United States…”

        Wow, do you think it might be possible to have both national motor vehicle regulations AND marriage laws? What a concept. Geesh, the raw power of being a Californian.

        Still smarting from California in the forefront of cleaning up emissions, which trickled down to national EPA regulations, so that we could live and drive a little longer? I’m glad to help take the blame for that.

        I detect a little California envy from our slightly less regulated midwest friend. When it comes to the highly mobile nature of both cars and couples, cafeteria-style state regulation doesn’t work well. We may have to drag you kicking and screaming into the next decade, but I assure you that your family won’t notice any difference in your lives.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Unless they have jobs now, since many won’t have them under the California model.

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          I think the problem most people have with California emissions rules is not that they’re aggressive about emissions in general. I think we pretty much all accept that to a degree.

          The problem that I have with California is they have an attitude of “I don’t care if you love old cars, screw you.” by rigidly sticking to an exemption year of 1970. There’s nearly two decades of cars after that in almost every other state you can still keep on the road without the significant expense that you would in California and their date is completely arbitrary.

          There are hordes of cars from the 1980s that you can’t get registered in California and are far better on emissions than 1960s cars that you can. And sorry, I’m too poor to buy a classic car from the 60s. It’d be cheaper to buy new.

          Replacement catalytic convertors for my car cost nearly $3500…

          • 0 avatar
            bosozoku

            Replacement catalytic convertors for my car cost nearly $3500…

            What? I’ve had several cars need new converters. They’ve never been more than $250/each from the auto parts store, and less than $100 to install from a local indie muffler shop (chain shops will not install them).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Car X had no problems doing the cats when I needed them on my 90S. This was around 2004.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “Replacement catalytic convertors for my car cost nearly $3500…”

            I’m sure you could find aftermarket options for 10% or less of that price.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatist

          California is probably poisoning the pot with layer and layer of mindless restrictions. An expensive, bureaucratic hellhole where everything needs to be regulated.

          But owning a car is damned expensive in CA, and you wish, it seems to shove your mindset on the rest of us.

          • 0 avatar
            bosozoku

            It’s mildly ironic that California’s initial growth and prosperity was brought about because of an almost complete lack of regulations: gold rush, film industry, aerospace, agriculture, etc. all flourished due to unheard of opportunities in the Golden State, back when the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were the only regulatory and tax-heavy boogeymen. Looks like they followed that model after folks from those areas started taking over the state. Too bad.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          The only thing I envy about California is the weather, it’s definitely not the laws or the bureaucrats.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          You think you are somehow superior to us less regulated folks. The simple fact that you seem to believe you require so many regulations says otherwise. You and your ilk suffer from a serious lack of faith and trust in your fellow humans. All your laws do is confirm that it is in the states realm to judge such things. Affirming gay mairage affirms the ability to abolish gay mairage, along with any other form of mairage your defendants turn against. How many times dose history need to repeat its self before you learn centralized power enables large scale corruption oppression and ruination.

        • 0 avatar
          Thrandurne

          SF bay here, I hope you’re happy knowing I have to do an engine swap every other year because of people like you

    • 0 avatar
      MPAVictoria

      I love this comment so much.

  • avatar
    kojoteblau

    Once upon a time, I was stationed at an Air Force base in Nebraska, with a driver’s license and car registration from my home state of Washington. My grandfather passed away, and I drove to California for the funeral.
    Returning from Los Angeles to Omaha, I drove the interstates through Utah, where an officer pulled me over even though I was following all traffic laws. I was told the tint on my car was more than Utah allowed. When I protested that it was legal in the state the car was registered in, the officer said, “It may be legal to smoke pot in Washington, but it’s not here!” (it wasn’t, in 1998) and I knew the stop wasn’t about window tint.
    To keep from getting stopped by every other officer until I left Utah, I submitted to a “voluntary” search of my vehicle for drugs. I knew there was nothing to find, but I still had to set there on the shoulder of the interstate as he looked through my travel bags and the rest of the truck, all the while watching passersby stare at me wondering what I was in trouble for.
    After his search, he told me he was sorry for my family’s loss, and to drive safe and have a good day. I didn’t drive through Utah again until this last year.

    • 0 avatar

      Military Id my friend… It works most of the time all the time.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “To keep from getting stopped by every other officer until I left Utah, I submitted to a “voluntary” search of my vehicle for drugs.”

      This statement makes no sense.

      Submitting to a search (or not) won’t prevent another cop from doing the same (or not). It’s not like you get a sticker that says “This vehicle has been search for drugs” that tells other cops not to pull you over.

      • 0 avatar
        bosozoku

        In the small southern town where I grew up, if you didn’t submit to a search, the cop would issue a ticket and send you on your way. I have no proof per se, but 9/10 times, at least for young, male drivers, you’d be suspiciously pulled over again within the next 10 minutes or so by a different officer. If there was even the slightest thing worthy of attention, you’d be getting another ticket for having the temerity to exercise your right against an unprompted search of your vehicle. They’d often even cite “complaints called in about a vehicle resembling this one”.

        Kojo may have had similar experiences, as I imagine such overreaches of authority were not limited to my hometown.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I tried getting into Magic, not my thing.

    Comic books, on the other hand… now we’re talking.

  • avatar

    They’ll probably pull some kid over for having an exhaust that’s too loud, but will give a thumbs up to the dead-dick, fat, balding, loser on a Harley with loud pipes passing by.

  • avatar

    O.C. definitely has an interesting car culture, if my 3-4 days there a decade ago are any indication. I got quite a few photos of classic cars, other interesting cars, and the Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile, despite the fact that I was there on business (google “the crashmeister”). So I’m a bit surprised the cops are down on these people.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I bought these sick rims and now cannot afford big enough tiers…
    Oh! Well!
    My concern is purely a safety issue. I don’t want to get hit head on by one of these vehicles careening out of control on the highway because, suspension and wheel fail.
    I would support these fellers up to the point where the vehicle remains safe, irrelevant of what the state laws err… state.

    • 0 avatar

      Tire cost is not a factor. And unless the parts are assembled wrong you will be fine. I had a wheel nearly fall off because Walmart didn’t tighten the lugs and that was all stock. I feel your fears are misplaced.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I disagree.

        These tires aren’t designed to be stretched. The distortion changes the normal load path/stresses on the tire, and I cannot accept that doesn’t negatively affect their lifespan, i.e., reduce the period of their safe–or rather, less-dangerous–operation.

        As for stancing, the extreme camber is in no way safe as it absolutely destroys handling, traction, and tire life.

        Just because someone can drive a modded car and not have an accident does not mean the risks associated with the mod are ‘safe.’ People drive every day, and accidents are generally rare. However, driving is the most dangerous thing most people do, and it is a good thing to be concerned about its risks.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    I thought Facebook was mostly dead. My peers rarely go on, most people don’t even have one, and I only log in for some funny left-wing-bashing pages.

    Now Instagram is the app of choice. However, I don’t think anyone follows the local police department. Twitter might work for conveying the message.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      I guess 1.4B monthly active users is pretty close to dead.

      FWIW, the number for Instagram is around 200M. So apparently not everyone (apart from your peers) has moved over yet.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is why my general thought is screw MD head down to VA Beach or up to Delaware next time. I also believe Atlantic City would love your business if NJ is closer/cheaper/easier.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    I think cops everywhere attempt to reap financial windfalls from out-of-state motorists in any way they can. I know Virginia recently passed laws specifically aimed at levying higher fines against out-of-state drivers that was struck down in appellate court. I only wish this problem was limited to OCMD but cops everywhere think it their mandate to enforce asinine laws against vehicles/drivers who aren’t subject to those laws except while traveling.

    I grew up half an hour from Ocean City MD. This particular problem is a very long-standing one and it seems it certainly hasn’t changed in the 12+ years since I moved out of MD for good. When I learned to drive in the mid-90s the cops were heavy-handed against loud bass steros, lowrider trucks with opaque rear glass (which was actually legal, but akin to a raised middle finger in the cops’ eyes), and the typical mid-90s ricers. As SCE to AUX mentioned, any and all equipment violations present on classic cars, traditional hot rods, muscle cars, or lifted 4×4 trucks (the kind that obviously never go off road, not necessarily the hunt trail trucks) get a complete pass. Ricers and stereo jammers get noise violations but open-pipe hot rod/dragsters and Harleys get a complete pass. Lowriders with tires outside the fender lip get ticketed but 4wds do not. It has a lot to do with revenue, but they disproportionately choose to extract that revenue from what the cops see as the socially undesirables. It isn’t limited to the OCPD either, as the MSP are equally guilty.

    OC is Maryland’s summer playground without a doubt, but it’s also one of the few locations with significant tourism and business locations in an area of the state that is otherwise sparsely populated and economically depressed compared to the Baltimore/Washington corridor. Having grown up in the region I know how much animosity and division there is within the state with the folks who could be considered OC locals actually despising a lot of the tourists and resenting “them” as the people who control the state government and forced a lot of the policies down the locals’ throats that have prevented more economic success. There were, and still are, periodic attempts to start a secession movement to create a new state from the peninsular portions of Maryland and Virginia and Delaware from just north of Dover. The staff of the OCPD didn’t grow up in Baltimore, and their experiences can’t be far different from my own. Whether the yoots being profiled here are Marylanders or from out of state makes little difference, if they stand apart from the local yokels they will likely be seen as a target for special enforcement.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Thank you for your insight as a (former) local. I’m actually from the Pittsburgh area, but visit the OC area every May with the family. We have checked out the Car Cruise on several occasions – it’s a great time.

      And I have marveled at the low-key police presence during the event. As you suggest, I’ll bet the difference is that the “stancers” aren’t as good for business revenue as the “car cruise” crowd, whose average age is probably 20 years older than the stancers.

  • avatar
    George B

    Just about every new car I looked at this year in North Texas had dealer extra profit window tinting installed before the sale. I wish the manufacturers would just put the tint permanently in the glass so dealers would have one less thing to use to gouge customers. However, the tint does seem to keep the interior temperature lower. Would be nice to have some sort of interstate agreement to respect cars set up for local conditions. It’s probably unsafe to drive a car without air conditioning on a hot summer afternoon here in Texas, but it’s not like the cops pull people over for perspiring too much.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Oh, I don’t know. Border state, perspiring back….

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I don’t want tint in my car. If it’s cold enough to need to have the windows up, then I at least want to be able to see out of them.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        You’re on the only one, CD. The first thing I did with my GTI was to peel the tint off the front windows. Why? 1) To show I wasn’t rollin gangsta-style, and 2) to be able to see at night. With modern cars designs, that side window gives an important part of your frontal view, especially at corners. I also it’s helpful to let other drivers and pedestrians see whether I’ve noticed them, or if I’m looking elsewhere, because driving is a team sport.

    • 0 avatar
      JD23

      Fortunately, I never had a problem with local police enforcing tint regulations on my out-of-state car; I spent five years in Illinois as a student with a Texas registered car that had a Texas legal, but Illinois illegal, tint and was never ticketed. If I visited another state and received a tint ticket, I would do my best to never return.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I can see several issues, or even more regarding the attitude of the local authorities.

    1. The township itself; The local businesses or dare I say the ‘purple circle’ running the town. They like the cash these kids bring in, but don’t like the culture and fear them.

    2. The raising of revenue I do think isn’t the reason. Why would the township and business want to chase the money out of town? Arent’ they town cops and not county?

    3. The inconsistent regulations (as I’ve mentioned previously) between towns, states in the USA. I do believe in standardising regulations. This will reduce accidents and protect the population from abuses like this or the window tinting situation. Even right turns on red lights should be consistent across a country.

    4. Most of us were kids at some point in our lives. We have been involved in dumb sh!t acts, violations, incidents, etc. This isn’t going to stop, it’s been occurring since before antiquity.

    This is why kids pay more for insurance. They need to be managed without removing the spirit of youth. Infringements and fines doesn’t help the situation. A more relaxed approach is required.

    I manage many youth. Smashing them only turns them away, it then makes it harder to manage. But, don’t give them an open slather policy for behaviour.

    I do think this could of been better managed by the local authorities in Ocean City, MD.

    Crusty of farts, I say.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Maryland Nazis! I HATE Maryland Nazis!

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    AZ police sit on the border, waiting to ticket CA cars as they drive thru- which is why i still boycott Arizona. CHP sit by the OR border giving tickets for window tint- which is why we left Cali and now live in the PNW- it’s all about the money.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    The legal question here is the “full faith and credit” clause of the US Constitution, which says that states must recognize the acts of other states. For example, if you are married by one state, the other states must recognize your marriage too. If you register a gun in one state, other states can’t charge you with possession of an unregistered gun. If your car is registered and licensed in one state, it must be recognized as registered and licensed in all states. So in this case if Ocean City tried to claim the cars in question were not registered, the full faith and credit clause would kick in.
    But the full faith and credit clause is not immunity from local law. Laws that apply to married couples in Tennessee apply in Tennessee even if they were married in Nevada. You might have concealed carry permit in Georgia, but that doesn’t mean you can carry in New York City.
    Operating a car locally is subject to local law. That you are a Texan and the speed limit there is 75 does not entitle you to drive at 75 in New Jersey. It also doesn’t entitle you to operate a car that does not comply with local safety standards.
    As for California: it can’t force other states to adopt its emission standards. But in theory it actually could say that cars not meeting its standards can’t drive on California state highways. They don’t because it would kill commerce and tourism. But do they have the right? Of course they do.
    As an aside: it seems that certain libertarians are all for states’ rights when it comes to exemption, but they sing a different tune when it comes to application. They can’t have it both ways.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “For example, if you are married by one state, the other states must recognize your marriage too.”

      To my knowledge, there hasn’t been anything from the federal court that establishes that marriages of any type are subject to full faith and credit. The states have chosen to recognize out of state traditional marriages, but they weren’t compelled to do it.

      The Loving v. Virginia case that tossed out interracial marriage bans did so based upon the equal protection clause, not full faith and credit.

      You could make the argument for full faith and credit, but I wouldn’t say that it’s definitive. It’s new territory (and I presume that the Supreme Court will eventually apply the Loving case to legalizing gay marriage, as it should.)

  • avatar
    AFX

    Imagine rolling through Ocean City in a 1930’s era Bugatti grand prix car:

    Cops- “Sir, did you get that front suspension from a farm tractor ?”.

  • avatar
    AKADriver

    One thing not mentioned: Maryland has one of the strictest motor vehicle safety codes in the country. I lived in Maryland from 2001 to 2006 and in that time I slogged seven or eight cars through the Maryland inspection process. After the first two I learned never to buy an out-of-state, non-stock car and try to register it there. Failed for 1″ lowering springs. Failed for tint that was, in fact, legal (but had to get separately signed off by police; no one told me that up front). Failed for minor fluid leaks. Failed for windshield nicks outside the driver’s field of vision. Failed for a rear seat belt that just needed to be untwisted to retract properly. Failed, in one instance, for an unmarked shift knob.

    My new state of Virginia has its own reputation for draconian speed enforcement, but I can get in and out of an inspection station in any roadworthy car in 15 minutes.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Ohio where every cop has a light meter and expects that your windows will not be any darker than the factory tint on a Somerset Regal’s windshield. If you live in Kentucky and don’t have to run a front plate, you shouldn’t have your car impounded in Ohio because it doesn’t have a front plate.”

    This has not been my experience [yet] in Ohio, and I’ve been driving around with pretty dark tint and no front plate for several years. Actually I’ve never been pulled over for anything in Ohio. I’m thinking just Columbus-area PD’s are jerkoffs, maybe.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Pretty funny that OCPD posts a picture of an early Beetle as an example of the kind of car they want to crack down upon during a WATER-COOLED V-Dub fest.

    Bonus funnies for the fact that they’re trying to crack down on people intentionally going for negative camber…but due to the swing-arm rear suspension, an early Beetle cannot be lowered without the rear camber going WAY negative. Note that the front wheels are not cambered.

  • avatar

    Two things here.
    1. You have to comply with the state you are in. I see tinted windows in NY all the time. Legal in FL, but not here.

    2. Selective enforcement-I once participated in an on/off road Rally in the northeast. The cars had plates and somehow inspection stickers, but we passed more than one cop with open exhaust and massive headlights but weren’t bothered. Since rallyists brought big $ into town, people were happy to see us, no matter how loud the reflected noise from the store windows…

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Sounds like The Parker 400 .

      Do they still so that ? .

      I had a ball in the 1970’s .

      -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I find it hard to believe that you have to comply with vehicle standards for every state you’re passing through. That especially goes for those teeny-weeny East Coast states like Maryland, where if you blink on the interstate you missed it. If they have to accept my Cali license, they have to accept my spinners and fuzzy dice too.

  • avatar
    hifi

    Almost makes you wonder why anyone would want to have an event in the Redneck Riviera of Ocean City in the first place. Few places represent the deterioration of humanity than the locals there. Electrolytes, It’s What Plants Crave!

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      You, sir, are wrong.

      Brawndo is what plants crave. Electrolytes are the stuff they use to make Brawndo.

      Don’t give them water. You know, that stuff in the toilet.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The author’s argument is silly. The laws of the land wherever you are apply to you, and your vehicle, no matter what your passport or vehicle registration says on it. Just as my US Passport is not a defense visa-vis breaking laws in China, so to does the home state of a vehicle mean almost noting when that vehicle is operated in another state.

    The funny thing is that the obvious solution is national vehicle standards, but the crowd that loves to shout “freedom” would never stand for that obvious solution.

  • avatar
    John R

    “…but this ain’t Ferguson or Watts…”

    It could be worse. It could be Penn State after Paterno was fired, or the University of Kentucky in 2012, or Seattle after they won the Super Bowl, or Philly after the Phils won the World Series.

    But I kid…kinda.

    In all seriousness, Ocean City is a pain in the ass. I always try and con my family to patronize Delaware beaches instead. The visitor “taxes” are a bit less draconian.

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