After last year’s difficult spring break, the City took a number of actions to keep things under control.
First was early notice to colleges and universities that the rules would be enforced. Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates sent letters to university administrators and fraternity/sorority leadership before students finalized plans with the message that “violations of law will not be tolerated in Miami Beach during the upcoming Spring Break season.”
Then came the tough messages in the form of a multi-media marketing campaign… The first showed a pair of hands behind bars with the message, “Choose your bars carefully.”
The second part of that campaign is now in full gear with the message, “Come on vacation, don’t leave on probation.”
Trying to combat bad behavior by scooter riders, the City Commission first approved a ban on rentals during spring break. Following objections that rentals would simply shift from local businesses to companies on the mainland, harming local businesses while riders just brought the scooters over a bridge, Commissioners are trying a different strategy. Scooters will be required to have registration numbers and GPS tracking devices allowing them to be shut off following reports of violations. That ordinance passed on first reading and will be heard on second reading at a special City Commission meeting this week to ensure the rules are in place for the heaviest break period toward the middle of the month.
The rules and measures that will be taken to keep things under control include:
- Coolers, inflatable devices, tents, tables and similar structures on the beach will not be permitted.
- The limitation of live or amplified music.
- The limitation of traffic routes to prohibit vehicular access to non-residents, and permit access only for residents and those patrons and employees of businesses located in the specific area where traffic routes have been limited.
- The establishment of occupancy limits for different segments of beach property, and prohibiting access to those areas that have reached those occupancy limits, in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.
- The prohibition of any direct or indirect consumption of alcohol on the beach property.
- Continued enforcement of the prohibition of smoking marijuana
- The implementation of a license plate reader police detail, which may be utilized on eastbound traffic lanes of the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways.
- Depending upon crowd size and in the interest of public safety, the Miami Beach Police Department may close Ocean Drive or a portion thereof between 5 to 12 streets during peak hours.
- Deployment of Goodwill Ambassadors on the weekends to provide tips and assistance to beach-goers.
The City has created a new area of its website with the info.