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Bill Quashing Pop-up Car Rallies Passes Assembly

Bill Quashing Pop-up Car Rallies Passes Assembly

From the NJ Assembly Republican Office

Assemblyman Antwan McClellan
Assemblyman Antwan McClellan (R-1st)
File Photo
Assemblyman Antwan McClellan

A bill that stiffens penalties and disincentivizes pop-up gatherings passed the Assembly Friday (June 28).

“We don’t want a repeat of the tragedy that took two lives in Wildwood two summers ago,” Assemblyman Antwan McClellan (R-Cape May), said. “We welcome groups to the shore, and ensuring our laws are followed allows everyone to have a great time with all New Jersey beaches and boardwalks have to offer.”

One social-media-advertised pop-up car rally in Wildwood ended in tragedy when two people were killed by a drunk driver in September 2022. That day, more than 500 vehicles overtook Wildwood’s streets for drag races, driftings and burnouts. Before the day was over, an 18-year-old Pennsylvania woman and 34-year-old New Jersey man were dead, having been hit by a 37-year-old Pennsylvania man who was later sentenced to 25 years after pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault charges.

McClellan’s bill (A3060) would allow the Department of Transportation and local officials to designate special event zones around roads, parking lots and property near motor vehicle events with more than 25 people. Officials would be permitted to lower existing speed limits and prohibit “exhibition driving.” Fines for speeding, careless driving, drag racing, drifting and burnouts would be increased to $1,000 in designated areas during a car rally. Those charged with reckless driving could also face 60-day prison sentences.

“Maryland increased their penalties for speeding and burnouts, which is what forced organizers’ hands to move this illegal event to New Jersey,” McClellan added. “Stiffer penalties are an effective deterrent. We need to protect our residents, tourists and businesses by making it more costly to break our laws and our peace.”

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