BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Since late November the Bakersfield Police Department has issued over 40 citations and impounded over a dozen vehicles related to street racing, and the agency says they're just getting started. Just this past weekend accounted for 18 citations and 3 vehicle impounds alone.
Bpd says the crackdown includes those who are actually racing on city streets and groups who meet up in large parking lots to race and do donuts. Police say the crackdown won't end there, city officials will soon be holding a community forum to discuss the issue. Councilmember Chris Parlier is one of the voices pushing for it.
"When you're out doing it on a roadway with normal folks just out there driving, trying to get to where they're going, it creates a real hazard. Unfortunately, that created a death in our community and we don't want to see it happen again," Parlier said.
In November, 57-year-old Maria Navaro was killed, and her two grandchildren hospitalized after police say they were innocent bystanders caught up in a street racing crash. Two men were arrested and have been charged in connection with the incident. Parlier says the upcoming community forum will give the police a chance to update the public about their crackdown, and the public a chance to give their opinions about street racing.
"But also communicating with our stakeholders and private property owners that own the shopping centers to have them come to the table and deploy tools with us to help mitigate the problem," Parlier said.
Parlier says street racers themselves are invited to the forum as well. Meanwhile, BPD says they have more street racing enforcement operations coming up in the next several months.
"We're looking at installing some different infrastructure, potentially looking at some cameras to go in some of these parking lots, working with some of these business owners to change some of the infrastructure and the layout that would make this not conducive to street racing activity," said BPD Sergeant Nathan McCauley.
BPD is working to nail down an exact date for the community forum, but they say it should take place in the next couple weeks.