STANISLAUS COUNTY — The CHP says Illegal sideshows over the weekend clogged busy streets and parts of Highway 99, as well as tied up law enforcement resources.
Surveillance footage shared with FOX40 shows dangerous stunts performed by driver after driver, while spectator after spectator stand just feet away with their smartphones.
Investigators say these kinds of events have sometimes left people injured or dead.
“The drivers of these cars show no regard for the safety of themselves or others,” Modesto police spokeswoman Sharon Bear said.
A spokesman with the CHP Modesto said the sideshow on Hart Road in Stanislaus County was just one of many that took place over the weekend.
People in the area told FOX40 sideshows are an ongoing problem and that they shut down the surrounding streets almost weekly.
Officers said the illegal productions have injured and killed onlookers in the past. They have also proved to be dangerous for officers, as participants have thrown rocks and firecrackers at them.
But when people start seeing red and blue lights approach, it prompts them to scatter.
However, the madness did not stop.
In one Youtube video, which was easily found by searching “209 sideshow,” dozens of cars stopped traffic on Highway 99 near Ripon while tires screech.
“They block the flow of traffic, they use up resources because it takes more than one officer to come and clear an area and make sure everybody’s safe,” Bear said.
According to the Modesto Police Department, a 19-year-old announced on social media from a local fast food restaurant where to find the next sideshow. Jonathon Wessman was unable to meet with his followers and was instead arrested by officers.
The CHP says they’re trying to discourage sideshows by seizing vehicles of drivers who have participated in reckless driving. Hefty fines can set drivers back up to $2,000.
“You can get cited, you can get your vehicle towed and that can cost you some money,” Bear said.