Spectators at 'sideshows' will face prosecution, California city warns

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to prosecute those who watch illegal street racing and stunt shows, known as “sideshows.” Sideshows include dangerous stunts like "donuts" and "burnouts" on public streets.

Spectators often serve as human shields during the shows, the Bay Area's FOX 2 reported.

"The last four years we've lost six young people as a result of street racing in the city," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told the station.

Police arrest a sideshow performer in Oakland, Calif., last year.  (California Highway Patrol)

Last year two men accused of street racing in San Jose were arrested after a truck in which they were riding slammed into a cab, killing the passenger.

DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER 'SIDESHOW' SHUTS SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND BAY BRIDGE

Spectators could face a $1,000 fine or up to six months of jail time. Similar ordinances have been passed in Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, the Mercury News of San Jose reported.

Other communities, such as Oakland, continue to crack down on such activity, FOX 2 reported.

“State law provides ample basis to enforce against participants in street racing, but the department currently struggles to enforce against spectators,” San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia wrote to the City Council.

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The ordinance is set to take effect this summer.

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