Oakland: Reid, Gallo give support to bill aiming to stop illegal sideshows

A few days after a weekend sideshow in Oakland resulted in a transport truck and an A.C. Transit bus being set on fire, Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid said the city must give its support to an Assembly bill that will further criminalize participation in the dangerous impromptu sideshows occurring on city streets.

“The sideshow is something that is getting completely out of control,” Reid during last Tuesday’s Oakland City Council meeting. “It is time for this council to fight hard for this piece of legislation.”

Assembly Bill 410, introduced by Southern California Assemblymemer Adrin Nazarian last February, seeks to punish those who participate in sideshow with a misdemeanor and a $10,000 fine. In addition, their vehicles may be impounded for 30 days, according to the bill. A second violation brings a felony and $25,000 fine.

The potential for great injury or even death at sideshows that feature gatherings around cars that seemingly takeover some city streets and even highways with swerving and spinning cars doing stunts and burning rubber.

Councilmember Noel Gallo, who has long denounced the sideshows that often proliferate in his Fruitvale district, said he will testify in support of the bill at the April 23 Assembly Public Safety Committee in Sacramento.

Despite Gallo working with community leaders to limit the sideshows, they have gravitated from the neighborhoods to business corridors, he said.

In the past sideshows were typically organized under the cover of night, but some are happening in broad daylight during weekend afternoons. “We’re just waiting for one of those cars to get out of control and hurt many bystanders.”

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