The City of Oakland just passed stricter new sideshow crackdown legislation, but some law enforcement authorities wonder if the new movie Fast X isn’t going to just set off more sideshows all over the state this weekend.
With today’s theatrical release of the latest Fast & Furious sequel Fast X, zillions of dad jokers on Twitter are cracking wise that the franchise missed an opportunity to call the film Fast Ten: Your Seat Belts. Yet it may strike some as a joke that, as KPIX reports, California police are worried that the release of the film Fast X is going to set off sideshows all over California.
The California Highway Patrol is warning the public of the real-life dangers of illegal street racing and sideshows ahead of this week’s nationwide release of Fast X, the latest installment in "The Fast and the Furious" film franchise. pic.twitter.com/E6IKOEsv9l— 95.3 KUIC (@953KUIC) May 16, 2023
"This is not just a law enforcement issue; this is a community issue that endangers lives — young and old, innocent as well as those that are engaged in this reckless activity," LAPD chief Michel Moore said at a news conference covered by KPIX. "The message today is clear: street racing and sideshows are dangerous. They result in death and serious injury, not only to the participant, but also to the spectators and community members."
Citing the Fast & Furious films specifically, Moore said "Movies like this are fantasy."
Officials fearful 'Fast X' movie will trigger potentially deadly sideshows #NewsBreak https://t.co/IzSNlsE1I4— Nan Nied (@akanauw) May 19, 2023
Locally here in the Bay Area, KPIX also reports that Oakland passed a new, somewhat stricter sideshow law this week that makes promotion or organization of a sideshow punishable by six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, with liability for participants as well. This comes on the heels of a number of sideshows this month where cars were set on fire and rammed into (raising the possibility that cars are being stolen just to trash them in sideshows), and another where an angry citizen intervened only to be beaten by a mob.
"I am outraged by the images I saw in a video captured during an illegal sideshow that took place yesterday, and demand that the perpetrators of this senseless act of violence be held accountable," Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said after the latter sideshow. "The brutal attack was just the latest example of how illegal sideshows put our communities at risk and create unsafe environments that can lead to violence."
According to NBC Bay Area, the California Highway Patrol statistics indicate that “Over the course of five years, there have been 264 crashes – 30 deadly and 124 resulting in injuries – associated with street racing and sideshows.” The CHP makes that claim in a new set of anti-sideshow billboards they’re putting up around the state.
Related: Sideshows Barraged All Corners of the Bay Area This Weekend, In SF, Oakland, and San Jose [SFist]
Image: Universal Pictures