OPP presence enhanced as unsanctioned car rally takes over Wasaga Beach streets

A heavy police presence remains in Wasaga Beach as hundreds converge on the town for an unsanctioned car rally Saturday.

The H20I car rally has brought large crowds, many from out of the area, to the popular beach town. In an effort to control the area, OPP closed down Main Street between River Road West and the Main Street Beach through most of the afternoon. It has since reopened.

OPP have increased the number of officers in the area throughout the weekend. As a result, 14 vehicles were towed off the roadways following various Highway Traffic Act offences on Friday. Also on Friday, 87 offence notices were issued, and six drivers were charged with stunt driving.

“Anyone who wants to come to our community and put our officers safety and the safety of our community at risk you will be held accountable," says OPP Constable Elizabeth Newton. “Anyone who is conducted of stunt driving, and even charged with stunt driving, will lose their license for a period of 30 days their vehicle will be towed for 7 and receive a maximum penalty of $10,000."

On Saturday 33 pepole were charged with various offences, including stunt driving. Seven vehicles were also towed.

Josh English came from Belleville for the rally. He wishes it had turned out differently.

“If we just had a nice car meet, down at the water just to show them that we can be peaceful if we want that would be a little better than this," English says.

Some local businesses were also frustrated.

“It sounds like you’re getting a message beside a drag race," says Stephanie Weaver, a massage therapist at Beachside Massage Therapy and Wellness Centre. "We know it’s going to happen and we can’t stop it."