FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno city leaders are taking action to crack down on street racing.
A new city ordinance aims to put the brakes on dangerous driving.
The proposed policy wouldn't just punish drivers involved in sideshows but includes anyone who takes part as a promoter or spectator.
"The message to these sideshow criminals is this...this will never be tolerated in the city of Fresno," said Fresno City councilmember Garry Bredefeld. "And anyone participating, promoting or attending them will be fully held accountable."
On Thursday, the Fresno City Council will consider an ordinance that would fine people participating in street racing and side shows, including promoting and attending them too. They could face a $1000 citation or a misdemeanor which could result in 6 months of jail time.
"If you take away the spectator, if you take away the facilitator, if you take away the organizer, there's a good chance we are not going to have side shows in our city," said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
Current state law doesn't extend to spectators or promoters of street racing. Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says last year, the department issued 379 citations related to street racing, 62 citations for blocking roads and impounded 441 vehicles involved in street racing or sideshows.
"Planning and grouping to meet at a certain intersection at a certain part of town to basically partake in a hostile takeover of the parking lot, of a highway in some cases," said Balderrama.
It's not just dangerous, it's proven to be deadly. Among the victims of street racing in Fresno: 17-year-old Allison Chang and her cousins 21-year-old Linda Chang and 27-year-old Christopher Vang, killed the day after Christmas in 2020.
"We have seen where there are groups from Northern California, the Bay area, Southern California, who will share this information statewide and they will come to one location...Fresno being one of them," said Balderrama.
Balderrama says social media is often used to coordinate their gatherings. His officers are seeing more underage offenders.
"I want Fresno, California to be the absolute worst place to come and do a street racing sideshow, street takeover, anything like that," he said.
The ordinance will be brought forward at Thursday's city council meeting.