Penticton’s largest annual car show had a huge turnout but apparently too many burnouts.

And while burnouts have been known to happen at past Peach City Beach Cruises, event president Wayne Wood said the RCMP had responded promptly in the past.

“In previous years when we would get burnouts, security would phone the RCMP and the cops would be there in five minutes, 10 max,” he said. “If someone was doing something crazy they would take the car, put it on a flat deck and that was it.”

But this year “things got way out of hand," he said.

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Wood wasn’t critical of the RCMP – he realizes burnouts aren’t the highest priority call, especially when there was a shooting that same night.

But burnouts can be extremely risky, even if they do go well most of the time, he said.

“There are people on both sides of the street, there could be mothers pushing buggies. If a car were to fishtail and take someone out – that would be the absolute worst case for us, we just can’t have that.”

Organizers will have to figure out a way to control stunt driving at the event, while taking into consideration that the RCMP may not be available.

Wood said the board of directors will have to look for an adequate solution before deciding in the fall whether or not the event will continue.

“The city requires us to have multi-million dollar insurance coverage – if the insurance company sees things not under control, they’re not going to be jumping forward to say ‘yeah we’ll insure you,’” he said.

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But the Peach City Beach Cruise was otherwise awesome, Wood said.

“The Band was amazing, the cars were spectacular, the number of people on lakeshore was enormous, both lanes of the street were filled up with cars, plus the sidewalks were packed – it was probably one of our best shows ever, aside from the burnouts,” he said.

Const. Dayne Lyons with the Penticton RCMP explained in an email how the police prioritize calls.

"Penticton RCMP operates on a triage system when it comes to responding to calls. Sometimes our queue is full and there are only so many officers available at a time to respond to calls," he said.

"On this date, there were a number of high priority calls that our office received around the same time and so an officer was not available to respond to the Beach Cruise right away. Rest assured though, when our office receives a call, it will be followed up on.”

If a driver is caught doing a burnout, Const. Lyons said a verbal warning can be given when all police have is a license plate, and violation tickets can be issued if the incident is witnessed by police.

 – This story was updated at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 30, 2022, to include comment from RCMP.

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