Gov Newsom Signs Law to Increase Penalties for Sideshows

Assemblyman Vince Fong

This past Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law intended to further penalize illegal street racing and sideshows by adding a six-month license suspension to the current penalties for convicted offenders.

AB-3: Exhibition of speed on a highway, was shepherded into law over the past 10 months by Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2025.

Via Twitter, Assemblyman Fong said dangerous “street racing and sideshows have taken too many lives.”

“This law helps make our communities safer by giving law enforcement another tool to curb reckless sideshows. We’re sending a message that this dangerous activity is no longer acceptable.”

Assemblyman Vince Fong

According to KTVU (Oakland),Bay Area law enforcement has been aggressive in enforcing laws surrounding the events by issuing fines, towing cars, and making arrests.

A new city ordinance in Fairfield states that spectators can be fined $1,000.

Vallejo also enacted a similar ordinance in an effort to curb what that city’s leaders call “street terrorism.”

In July, the City of San Jose enacted laws that make it illegal and will levy fines and threaten jail time for promoting sideshow events via social media.

San Jose council members want to crack down on social media activity by making it illegal even to tweet or post a TikTok video about a sideshow in progress or in the making, thereby taking away one of the main drivers of sideshow culture. The ordinance carries fines of $1,000 and presents the possibility of up to six months in jail for anyone caught using social media to promote a sideshow.

CHP officer Andrew MacTaggart says “…we are aware of the situation involving sideshows in the Rio Linda Area. As you know, sideshow activities such as donuts and ghost riding are reckless, unsafe, and unlawful and pose an extreme danger to those participating in the activity, and to other motorists and bystanders. We (the CHP) conduct enforcement operations proactively aimed at stopping sideshow events and are continuing to investigate any sideshow activities. We work with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute those involved in these types of activities.”

Sacramento County has been unable or has declined to enact similar ordinances.

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