Sideshows have become a serious problem in Sacramento.
Law enforcement officials in Sacramento are clamping down on illegal street racing and sideshows, which have increased in popularity in recent months. This surge of illegal racing activity poses a risk to innocent motorists and pedestrians, say Sacramento officials, who are determined to stop this dangerous behavior.
According to a City Council report, a lot of this activity occurs around the Delta Shores Shopping Center, a private parking lot in the Sacramento area. Aside from the risk of dangerous driving, other negative events - including shootings, damage to property, and crashes - have stemmed from these sideshow events.
As a result, the Sacramento City Council has approved a new Ordinance allowing local police departments "to conduct enforcement actions at sideshows, prior to the events becoming dangerous or potentially violent" at private parking facilities used by the general public.
Sideshow events and illegal street racing in the area have gone beyond putting the public in danger. Council member Rick Jennings told ABC 10 that local businesses have been affected too. "We also saw business drop off because of the sideshows, and many people didn't feel safe about going to the shopping center."
While law enforcement has been given the right to pursue sideshow participants, it may be difficult to crack down on these events. As per the report, these events often start with just a few vehicles and quickly grow out of control, with more than 100 vehicles often arriving to cause chaos.
When these events are out of control, the police must often dispatch multiple patrol officers, which could result in a delayed response to other emergency calls. It's a serious problem, with Sacramento police recording 50 calls between Jan 1 and Feb 28 related to sideshow activity at Delta Shores.
Just over two months ago, 200 vehicles were involved in a sideshow event in Sacramento. In the chaos, someone fired a gun, but no one was injured. However, this highlights the severity of the problem law enforcement is dealing with.
Four hundred miles away in Pico Rivera, things are just as bad. As a result, the City Council has made it legal for law enforcement to confiscate vehicles used in these sideshows. It's harsh, but people may think twice about street racing when their car is at stake. Moreover, attendees within 500 feet of these illegal events can be fined as much as $2,000.
Councilman John Garcia said these harsh measures have been implemented to deter street racers from engaging in these activities. "By taking action, we are sending a strong message that illegal street takeovers will not be tolerated in Pico Rivera and that the safety and well-being of its residents and visitors are paramount to the City Council."
This isn't just limited to California. Illegal street racing is a nationwide problem, and various states are clamping down on sideshows with new laws and punishments. Law enforcement in Florida is targeting those who partake in intersection takeovers, and they're taking a zero-tolerance approach. Instead of issuing tickets, offenders will be whisked off to jail and their cars will be taken away.
So, if you're thinking about hitting the streets and causing chaos with your Mustang, think again - you may end up behind bars and without a car. While we appreciate the need to explore the entire rev range of your vehicle and drive quickly, track days and drag strips allow gearheads to get all of their thrills without any of the danger so, really, illegal street racing is inexcusable.
We've seen some terrifying street racing crashes in the past, and it's simply not worth the risk.
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