spinning tires

A proposal would criminalize the attendance and participation in sideshows in the City of Fresno. Photo by Jakob Rosen on unsplash.com

published on April 18, 2023 - 2:02 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Six months in jail and a $1,000 fine could be the consequences for attending a sideshow in Fresno under a proposal by members of the Fresno City Council.

Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, Mayor Jerry Dyer, Police Chief Paco Balderrama and City Attorney Andrew Janz are scheduled to speak at a Wednesday morning press conference at City Hall to discuss the proposal, according to a news release from Bredefeld’s office.

Bredefeld and Councilmember Annalisa Perea are cosponsors of the proposal on Thursday’s regular meeting agenda to prohibit and fine participants, promoters and attendees of so-called sideshows —  or “reckless driving exhibitions” in the amendment language.

“Simply stated, none of these dangerous activities will be tolerated in the City of Fresno,” according to a news release from Bredefeld’s office.

The language of the amendment targets the activities involved in preparing a sideshow, such as gathering in public spaces and streets, revving car motors or causing tires to spin.

Spectators of such activities are defined as being within 300 feet of a sideshow location or site of preparations.

The change would also make it unlawful for a person to “knowingly encourage, promote, instigate, assist, facilitate, aide or abet the gathering of persons” for a sideshow.

Violations could result in a misdemeanor subject to a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. A person could be liable for actual damages caused by the violation, according to the proposed ordinance amendment.

Such activities in Fresno have resulted in the loss of life and incidents sometimes involving more than 100 cars blocking entire intersections. One such incident last week involved several intersections, including Blackstone and Nees avenues near River Park, reported The Fresno Bee.

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