Oakland police announced that starting this weekend they are stepping up enforcement aimed at cracking down on sideshows, spontaneous gatherings where motorists flaunt their driving skills.
Last year, a number of deaths and injuries were attributed to sideshow activity, including a crash on Oct. 17 in which three people died
after a driver lost control while speeding down MacArthur Boulevard.
The enhanced enforcement this year will take place weekend nights, effective immediately, and will include four squads of officers dedicated to strict traffic enforcement.
Police said they have also created a process to streamline the towing and seizure of vehicles, and have created a partnership to enhance charges against people who engage in illegal activities at a sideshow.
In a prepared statement, Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said,
"We will continue to investigate and enforce illegal sideshows as we have done in the past, but we are simultaneously looking to develop new techniques.''
Batts has said he would explore the possibility of having a legal venue for sideshows if a safe location can be found.