DAYTONA BEACH — How many monster trucks are going to show up for Daytona TruckToberfest?© News-Journal/Nigel Cook A lifted truck cruises the sand on Daytona Beach ahead of Daytona TruckToberfest, a three-day event that opens Friday.
Residents and law enforcement officials, wary of the potential for another weekend of gridlock on area roadways and unlawful, rowdy behavior that thrust the city into chaos during a truck event in June, likely will know soon as TruckToberfest officially begins on Friday.
The social media-driven TruckToberfest, which has garnered more than 7,000 followers in its Facebook group, is unfolding as an unsanctioned event, without city permits or any definitive schedule of events.
Such truck gatherings have built a bad reputation in recent years, culminating in citywide mayhem and gridlock generated by the Daytona Truck Meet, a separate, unrelated three-day event that overtook the city in June.
That event, presented by a different organizer, turned Daytona Beach and surrounding cities into a melee with the invasion of 40,000 monster truck fans and 5,000 vehicles.
When it was over, Daytona Beach Police had made more than 1,100 traffic stops, issued 940 citations, handled 13 crashes and towed 25 vehicles. Seven drivers were charged with driving under the influence.© David Tucker/News Journal Monster trucks jam A1A and pedestrians clog the sidewalks near the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
In response, law enforcement will have additional officers on patrol and extra tow trucks ready to haul away pickups that violate motor vehicle code with jacked-up suspensions or other custom features, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said this week.
On Friday, Daytona Beach Police were confident that this weekend’s event would not be a repeat of that scene, said Messod Bendayan, police spokesman.
“We don’t really think this event is going to be what we saw during (the Daytona) Truck Meet,” Bendayan said on Friday. “We expect this to be a shorter event, smaller in terms of capacity. Obviously, we will take a harder line in terms of violations.”
Police have opened a command center tied to the event that will be in operation at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Bendayan said. Daytona Beach police will be working with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Daytona Beach Shores police department and other agencies to monitor the event throughout the weekend, he said.
“We definitely have extra patrols out there and we’re getting aid from other agencies,” Bendayan said. “It affects them, too.”
Posts on the event’s Facebook page on Thursday night by attendees arriving for the event noted the presence of Florida Highway Patrol vehicles along Interstate 95, as well as police cruisers stationed at area parking lots that have been hangouts for the oversized vehicles during past events.
“Watch your speed! Troopers out on 95,” wrote Lindsey Briones in a typical post.
Not many trucks were out on beachside roads early on Friday, but that was expected to change as the weekend shifted into high gear. Based on Facebook posts, monster truck fans were on their way from as far away as Virginia and Ohio.
This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: With police watching, Daytona TruckToberfest opens its three-day run
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/with-police-watching-daytona-trucktoberfest-opens-its-three-day-run/ar-AAPPVnH1015