SAN DIEGO — California is one step closer to eliminating restrictions on lowriders after state lawmakers recently approved a bill that encourages municipalities like National City to reconsider their stance on cruising.
Currently, signs prohibit cruising along popular drags like Highland Avenue, but that could soon change.
One South Bay lowrider told FOX 5 he wants to drive down the street without being harassed.
“It’s a passion that we have for cars,” Marcos Arellano said, showing off his 1962 Chevy Impala convertible Super Sport.
“You cruise once or twice and all of a sudden you see a cop and unfortunately we just feel like it’s time to go home,” Arellano continued. “We don’t want to get pulled over, we don’t want to be harassed.”
Local organizations like the United Lowrider Coalition want to change the narrative. Assemblyman David Alvarez has joined the cause and introduced a bill which passed the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday. The bill urges cities to take down the signs and allow cruising again.
“Cruising is going low and slow down the streets,” Jovita Arellano, president of the United Lowrider Coalition, told FOX 5. “Back in the day, it attracted a lot of crime but not today, not anymore. It’s all about family, it’s all about bringing revenue to the businesses.”
National City Mayor Ron Morrison says for years, cruising has held a negative stigma, attracting violence and crime which created the ban in the early 90s. Now he’s pushing for change.
“You learn from history, you don’t want to create the same mistakes but at the same time you don’t penalize people because of mistakes in the past,” Morrison told FOX 5.
Currently, violators could face a fine of up to $1,000 jail time or even both. Marcos Arellano hopes the ban will end and allow others to appreciate this California culture.
Next week, the city council will discuss sponsoring cruising events in National City. Meanwhile, a final vote is expected on the state cruising bill in early May.