San Jose repeals decades-old cruise ban
For the first time since 1986, lowriders will once again be able to roam the streets of San Jose.
On Tuesday night, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to repeal its decades-old cruise ban.
Council member Raul Peralez, who proposed the repeal earlier this year, previously called the ban “discriminatory in nature” because it confused the lowrider community – which is largely Latino – with illegal activities like gangs, side shows and speed shows.
When the law was originally passed, the city cited traffic congestion, criminal activity and cruising creating an “environment of fear” as reasons for the ban.
Peralez, who previously owned an emerald green 1965 Chevy Impala Super Sport with a black vinyl hardtop, said he was subjected to the law as a teenager, often getting pulled over by cops and looking for drugs or weapons.
The law is also broad, he said, as it defines cruising as “the repetitive driving of any motor vehicle past a traffic checkpoint in congested traffic at or near the traffic checkpoint. the circulation”. According to his logic, any driver lost in the city center who made a few turns could be in violation.
“It’s very, very broad, and unfortunately it’s been used very broadly to try to stop other elements in our community, crime and gang violence, that we didn’t want to see,” he said. -he declares. “But we end up using far too broad a brush and, in my mind, a patently discriminatory and inherently racist policy.”
The San Jose Police Department has opposed the repeal since Peralez proposed it, though it hasn’t enforced the law in more than a decade. Since 2007, when the department implemented its electronic citation system, no citations have been issued for the cruise, according to Police Chief Anthony Mata.
Although it hasn’t been used for some time, the chief on Tuesday stressed its importance as a tool in case officers need it.
“We’ve seen this during Cinco de Mayo or the hot August nights coming up on Story Road where unfortunately there are individuals in cars taking over a mall and hanging out, they’re drinking, he there are drugs and there is violence,” he said. . “It’s impacting our community.”
The city, however, has other laws officers can use in these situations.
“I still don’t quite understand what we lose if we approve this and take this off the books,” council member Sergio Jimenez said. “In my mind some of the things that are actually happening there, the burnouts and people drinking and a whole host of other things in the parking lot, it seems to me there are other tools that are being used to solve some of these issues. problems and those don’t go away, and we don’t remove them just because we repeal that.
With the repeal, San Jose is now among the growing list of California cities that have rolled back cruise bans. Last month, the Sacramento City Council repealed its ban and National City passed a six-month trial period to allow cruising. This month, the State Assembly Transportation Committee also passed a resolution encouraging cities to repeal anti-cruise laws.