City Government

Ordinance making it unlawful to attend sideshows headed to Council for final action

December 12, 2023

Black care on the street doing donuts.

The Hayward City Council is scheduled to take up and give final approval tonight to an ordinance making it unlawful to be a spectator at motor vehicle sideshows in the City. 

The legislation would extend to spectators of sideshows a 2009 prohibition that already covers spectators attending unsanctioned drag races and other motor vehicle contests or displays of speed. 

The goal of the expanded Spectator Ordinance, requested by the Hayward Police Department, is to provide the City with a variety of options to address safety concerns associated with sideshows and to deter would-be participants and spectators. 

The ordinance provides for administrative or criminal enforcement, with violators subject to citation or arrest, and potential penalties ranging from fines of $500, $750 or $1,000 per violation and a maximum of six months in jail. 

Under the amendment as well as state law, sideshows are defined as events at which two or more persons block or impede traffic for the purpose of performing motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, motor vehicle exhibitions of speed or reckless driving, for spectators. 

If approved at tonight’s City Council meeting, the amended ordinance would take effect in 30 days. To learn more about it, read the staff report to the City Council available here on the City of Hayward’s legislative website.