Law Enforcement Praises “Safer” Thunder Beach Rally - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Law Enforcement Praises “Safer” Thunder Beach Rally

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Panama City Beach is praising a successful Thunder Beach spring rally.

Despite increased congestion and rainy conditions, law enforcement is most happy to report a weekend free of serious accidents.

Each spring and fall, the popular event draws thousands of bikers to the area for a weekend of entertainment, fellowship and cruising by the water.

It also has received criticism for being unsafe, resulting in several motor cycle involved fatalities.

In 2012, an Arkansas Police Chief lost his life when his bike was struck by a vehicle.  

Other deaths have occurred following crashes where the biker was not wearing a helmet.

This year's spring rally, however, was free of fatal accidents.

Law enforcement believes, as the event grows larger, it is also growing safer, which Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman said is to the benefit of the surrounding community and the bikers who visit.

"There seems like there was a lot more bikes this spring rally. It seems like it's slowly growing, which is a good thing for the community and the vendors that come in here. Probably not such a good thing for the residents who don't like it, but for the most part, I think the numbers were up and I think it was a good, safe thunder beach for them," said Whitman.

Thunder Beach is held twice a year, in the spring and fall, for 4 days.

Law enforcement credits this safer season to their increased presence and drivers making smarter decisions behind the wheel or the handlebars.