BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill last week in an attempt to put an end to illegal street activity, involving vehicles.
“Illegal sideshows are devastating families. They’re claiming innocent lives in our communities and they’re creating serious risk for our youth,” said Vince Fong.
This is why assembly member Vince Fong said that he took action earlier this year. He proposed assembly bill 3 to put the brakes on illegal sideshows and this new bipartisan bill received unanimous support through the legislative process.
“Upon conviction someone who participated in a sideshow a judge would be able to suspend their license for up to 6 months,” said Fong.
That is now law after Newsom recently signed off on the bill making it the first time that illegal sideshow activity will be defined in state statute.
“A lot of our law enforcement noticed that there were penalties for driver’s license suspensions for street racing. But not the same for those who participate in a sideshow,” said Fong.
During the illegal sideshows, many drivers take advantage of open roads to partake in anything from donuts to drifting, and often times this is for an audience.
“Now a lot of these fatalities a lot of these injuries among our youth are actually during these street takeovers,” said Fong.
Fong said there is a link between these takeovers and the actual street racing itself and those numbers growing by the year. Law enforcement saw a spike during the pandemic.
“The California Highway Patrol just last year responded to 25,000 calls involving illegal street racing activity. The Bakersfield Police Department responding to about 6,000 last year,” said Fong.
Some of those law enforcement agencies are expected to make an appearance at a press conference on Thursday along with victims or loved ones of victims who were injured or lost their lives to illegal street activity.