Authorities vow to clamp down on Monterey Car Week mischief

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine, Photography by: Tom Fraser

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Carmel clamps down GT40 Carmel clamps down GT40

Carmel officials and residents fed up with burnouts and bystanders

Monterey Car Week is truly one of the highlights of the automotive global calendar. Each year, the world’s top-most collector cars roll into the sleepy beachside holiday towns around Monterey California, turning the local traffic into something of a weird alternate universe where everyone drives cool (and ludicrously expensive!) cars.

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Of course, the big week-long festivities have also attracted a less-desirable crowd in recent years, with various neighbouring towns reporting numerous cases of reckless driving, street racing, speeding and burnouts – on occasion, calling in dozens of police units to dispel large crowds gathered to watch (and film) burnouts and donuts taking place on Ocean Avenue.

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2019 saw local Monterey Police increase staffing and enforcement efforts after an upward trend in speed violations during previous years’ events.

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A steep penalty was introduced in 2019, with Monterey Police Lt. Michael Bruno stating: "Individuals caught engaging in exhibition of speed, speed contests and/or reckless driving may be arrested and their vehicle impounded for 30 days".

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The town of Carmel is the closest sizeable township to the Monterey Car Week festivities, and have felt the effects of rogue out-of-towners more harshly than most.

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Carmel resident Mara Perkins stated to the local Monterey Herald: "[Cars] were zooming over the speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic and slowing down way under the speed limit to take videos of cars next to them".

"The car drivers showed total disregard for the safety of our roads and took over our rural community turning it into their private playground race track".

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In response to growing concerns from residents, Hemmings reports that Carmel City Council have recently voted to limit the number of Car Week events within the town to just two, and cap the allowed events to their current size; as well as banning any new events within the city limits.

This affects ‘Concours on the Avenue’; and the ‘Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance’, and may also affect the Aston Martin’s event at Sunset Center and the ‘Carmel Mission Classic’.

The city of Carmel is the only city at this stage to announce measures ahead of the 2020 event, however we wouldn’t be shocked if the Monterey County Council and other local cities follow suit.

 

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