OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Participation in illegal sideshows can end with your vehicle being impounded for up to 30 days. So far that hasn’t proven to be an effective deterrent. Now, lawmakers in Oakland are considering a new ordinance which may help deter sideshows.
The writing on the windshield of one of the 80 vehicles Oakland police officials say were seized, towed and later impounded during sideshow enforcement Friday night and early Saturday morning at 10th and Oak streets reads, “OPD 5/6 30-day hold.”
Some of these cars have information indicating it may have been driven from as far away as Sacramento to take part in the illegal sideshow that at one point saw a car fully engulfed in flames.
A typical tow can cost around $300. Daily storage will cost an additional $125 per day. After 30 days, when you include additional fees, sideshow participants are looking at over $4,000 to get their vehicles out of the impound. That does not include fees associated with any citations or arrests for participating in the sideshow.
That may deter some from the risks associated with the illegal activity but not enough. That’s why the Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee is considering enacting a new sideshow ordinance.
“The item is going to focus primarily on those who promote sideshows and encourage and organize bringing people together to participate in the violent activity that takes place,” said Oakland City Councilmember Treva Reid. “The reckless behavior that’s taking place around these sideshows and just the public safety threat that it is all across the city.”
Councilmember Reid says the ordinance seeks to not only impose fines and penalties for organizers, “And some aspects of the bystander participation with sideshows,” she added.
Will it be enough to deter folks from engaging in an activity that for some is viewed as a traditional Bay Area stunt driving culture? We will have to wait and see.