FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A proposed ordinance from Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld and City Council Vice President Annalisa Parea, aims to crack down on sideshows and street racing.
If it is passed, it could mean misdemeanors for not only drivers and participants but spectators and the people who promote illegal events on social media.
“If you are stopping, if you are watching, if you are helping, if you are facilitating in any way in one of these sideshow events, street takeovers, or street racing, you are part of the problem,” said Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama.
Dangerous displays are a frequent sight in Fresno, police just last week cited 168 participants and impounded 60 vehicles at a southwest Fresno sideshow.
Under the proposed ordinance, everyone who spectates, or promotes sideshows and street racing on social media, would face up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
“The message to these sideshow criminals is this… This will never be tolerated in the city of Fresno and anyone participating, promoting, or attending them, will be fully held accountable,” said Bredefeld.
Any spectators within 300 feet of a sideshow, street race, reckless driving exhibition, or intersection blockage would violate the law under the proposal.
“This ordinance is designed if you take away the spectator if you take away the facilitator if you take away the organizer, there’s a good chance we’re not gonna have sideshows in our city,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
Officials say the high-octane events can turn deadly fast.
“Unfortunately what we’re seeing is a trend in these illegal street racing activities, illegal sideshow activities, which are leading up to unnecessary deaths. So again, this is just a bill that we’re introducing to add another layer of accountability,” said Parea.
The ordinance will be introduced at the regularly scheduled Fresno City Council meeting on Thursday. If and when it is passed, it would go into effect 31 days after that date.