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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Police Department says the number of illegal sideshows is climbing in the metro.

Just this past weekend, Kansas City police issued 33 citations and towed four different cars.

A sideshow is when drivers perform reckless burnouts and stunts on public streets; they typically draw large crowds of spectators. Police said the activity has been a problem for years but increased in popularity during the pandemic.

The department released a PSA on Tuesday asking the public’s help in stopping the illegal activity.

Since June of this year, the Kansas City Police Department has issued nearly 200 citations for sideshows across the city.

“Cars can go out of control very quickly. Often people you know, they’re not trained to do any kind of specialty driving,” Capt. Leslie Foreman with KCPD said.

One of those sideshows turned deadly in September when one person was run over and killed while watching a sideshow.

“It’s not like going to a race right at a track where you’re in the stands,” Foreman said. “You are right there and putting yourself at risk.”

Foreman said the department is working with the city on ordinances and how to better enforce laws against sideshows.

“We have an ordinance for the people who are actually doing the racing, or donuts, that kind of thing. We also have a ticket we can write to someone for being a spectator in that event,” Foreman said.

If caught drivers could face up to a $500 fine and even jail time for careless driving. People who watch could get a $100 fine. Foreman hopes the citations, combined with the community’s help, will bring side shows to an end — or at least bring the number of them down.

“We can only do so much with these, and the less people we have showing up, the better,” Foreman said. “And the more that people recognize and know it’s not just a fun little race or donuts — I mean people get injured, people die, and we obviously don’t want that to happen.”

If you have any information about where a sideshow might happen, or information about cars involved, call your local police department.

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