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Spotlight: Sideshow Definition and Penalties



The 2022 new year has brought with it new legislation in California traffic safety laws and this article has its spotlight on stiffer penalties for sideshow exhibition of speed. Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into effect Assembly Bill (AB) 3, Fong which defines sideshows and their penalties as follows:

Beginning July 1, 2025, a court will be permitted to suspend a person’s driver’s license between 90 days and six months if the person is convicted of exhibition of speed and if the violation occurred as part of a “sideshow.”

Section 23109(c) of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) (exhibition of speed) will define sideshow as an event in which two or more persons block or impede traffic on a highway for the purpose of performing motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, motor vehicle exhibitions of speed, or reckless driving for spectators.

However, the courts will be cautioned to take into consideration medical, personal, or family hardship requiring an individual to have a driver’s license in the court’s determination of whether or not to suspend that individual’s license.

This new law was authored by Vince Fong of Assembly District 34 due to the growing number of sideshows in California since the 1980’s. These illegal car demonstrations can attract up to hundreds of people and can easily become a public safety issue for either drivers or spectators when events turn deadly due to the speed involved and carelessness of such exhibitions.

If you have received a citation for violation of CVC 23109, exhibition of speed or for participation in what is considered a sideshow to such events, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Ticket Dismissers. We’re here for you!

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