BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police held a town hall Tuesday night to discuss street racing and what hurdles law enforcement face when it comes to deterring drivers.
During the town hall, law enforcement officials discussed the number of operations and citations issued this year and last year for street racing.
BPD said in 2020, it conducted 57 overtime operations over weekend periods. These operations typically include two to six officers working overtime just dealing with street racers. Out of those 57 operations, BPD had 54 impounds and issued 688 citations. In 2021, BPD said it issued 224 citations so far and impounded 13 vehicles.
One of the difficulties BPD said they face is if drivers are not deterred by fines and impounded vehicles.
The Kern County District Attorney’s Office said street driving charges start off and misdemeanors and usually elevate to a felony if someone gets injured. Street racers can face anywhere between 90 days to probation depending on the case.
The California Highway Patrol said one of the things they’re trying to do is train officers to recognize vehicles that have been modified for street racing, in order to find and impound these vehicles before they begin racing. CHP said they are opening these trainings up to other law enforcement agencies as well.
Officials said another difficult issue is finding witnesses who are willing to cooperate with the investigations fulling, including testifying in court. During the town hall, officials said without testimony video evidence could become inadmissible.