A new law to expand the illegality of street races, burnouts, speeding, and other sideshow activities involving vehicles will come into effect on January 1st, with many operators in soon-to-be-illegal areas adding further security measures in anticipation.
Assembly Bill 2000, authored by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), will crack down further on illegal street racing, as well as similar “sideshows” and other non-legal events. Specifically, illegal street racing would be expanded beyond highways and streets. Under AB 2000, they would also now be illegal to do in off street parking lots and parking structures.
The bill’s language states, “This bill would also make it a crime for a person to engage in a motor vehicle speed contest in an offstreet parking facility or an exhibition of speed in an offstreet parking facility, or to aid or abet therein. By expanding the definition of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”
Assemblyman Gabriel wrote the bill earlier this year to expand public safety through expanding last years passed bill AB 3, which increased the penalties for illegally street racing.
“Far too frequently, street racing and illegal sideshows devastate families, harm innocent bystanders, and cut short young lives,” Assemblyman Gabriel said earlier this year. “Communities in the San Fernando Valley and across California are sick and tired of this reckless behavior. This bipartisan legislation will crack down on dangerous activity and help to save lives.”
The bill was passed unanimously in August by both houses, with Governor Gavin Newsom then signing it into law with a start date of January 1st. Since then, many parking areas have been adding additional security measures to help stop these events from occurring, as well as to help bring police to their structures sooner to apprehend those violating the new law.
“This has been such a huge problem,” said Los Angeles County parking lot owner Gerald Watkins to the Globe on Thursday. “We really needed a state law to back this, and now that we do, a lot of us have been putting up more cameras and establishing closer communication with the police. With that, we hope to get as many of these people as possible. They’re putting lives at risk and they are damaging property. Hopefully this ends it.”
Others are preparing for the new law through other upgrades.
“A lot of people put in one way traffic spikes to help discourage it from happening,” added Charles Cho, a parking garage owner in Los Angeles, to the Globe on Thursday. “But what has helped discourage people is finding ways in which they have to abandon their cars overnight, like denying exits of people who do those burnouts on the top level, then calling impound.”
“This law will make it much easier to have not only the police come now, but also discourage people doing this in the future. You know, we really don’t want to put all this in just to stop them. It’s expensive. But now that we know it can really legally hurt them, for us, its worth it. A lot of us really cannot wait until January 1st.”
AB 2000 is due to become law at the beginning of the new year.
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