Sideshow social media promoters to face criminal charges in San Jose

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Promoting side-shows and street races in San Jose is now illegal. The city council unanimously approved the new ordinance on Tuesday night.

The hope is to crackdown the often dangerous gatherings.

These illegal social media promotions can now cost you up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

City leaders say sideshows have become a big problem in San Jose and they’re trying to stop them before they begin.

San Jose becomes the first city to make it illegal to promote sideshows on social media. It’s already illegal to attend and participate in these street events but now any encouragement online is a crime.

City Councilmember Raul Peralez says this ordinance has a lot of support from San Jose police.

Officers will be tracking promoters through social media and when violators are caught they can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000.

There’s also the possibility of serving up to six months in jail.

The crackdown on sideshows comes as the city is seeing an increase in illegal gatherings.

Data from San Jose police shows they received more than 2,400 calls about sideshows between September 2020 and February of this year.

Councilmember Matt Mahan says sideshows and high-speed races have been some of the biggest complaints from residents in his district.

On June 11th, a 19 year old was killed in a street racing crash along Snell Avenue.

Mahan is hoping the new ordinance will help prevent tragedies like this.

San Jose police plan to continue to encourage people not to participate in sideshows and they’ll do that through newsletters and social media.

Council members are also planning on rolling out some new projects such as roundabouts and other kinds of infrastructure to help prevent these events from happening.

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