Oakland freeway stunt prompts fears illegal ‘sideshows’ on rise


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California Highway Patrol officials are continuing to investigate a freeway ‘sideshow’ stunt on an Oakland freeway over the weekend that took over the northbound lanes of Interstate 880 as drivers spun doughnuts.

CHP spokeswoman Diana McDermott said there have been no arrests.


‘It’s extremely reckless, this type of driving,’ McDermott said at a press conference. ‘In no way are our freeway systems designed for this.’

Videos popped up on YouTube and other social media after the Saturday afternoon stunt, showing several cars spinning in circles and burning rubber as several other drivers held back freeway traffic near the Oakland Coliseum Complex.

Officials believe six to eight cars were involved in the stunts, with several others helping to block traffic.

The Oakland Tribune reported that the stunt is stoking concerns that the city’s illegal car ‘sideshow’ problems are making a comeback. ‘Sideshows’ are an informal and illegal demonstration of automotive stunts often held in vacant lots and public intersections, most often in the East Bay area.

The newspaper reported that there have been 60 sideshow-related calls and incidents logged this year so far, compared to 170 for all of 2012. Illegal car stunts reached a peak in Oakland in 2005, when there were 700 sideshow-related complaints logged by police.

‘That’s crazy in broad daylight to tie up the 880 freeway,’ Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid told the Oakland Tribune. ‘That’s just as brazen as the shootings in broad daylight.’


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