BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It’s been nearly 3 months since a person was hit and killed during a street racing incident in Bakersfield. During that time, reports of street racing continue, as local leaders are looking to crack down on the problem.
We hear it in the middle of the night, we oftentimes see them speeding through streets or doing donuts in the intersection, in some instances, leading to tragic outcomes, but a new proposed bill could soon increase penalties surrounding illegal street racing.
“Upon conviction of an exhibition of speed citation, a judge would have the ability to remove someone's license for up to 6 months.“
State Assemblymember Vince Fong's proposed bill.. Exhibition of Speed includes:
“If you are cited for the exhibition of speed it is engaging in reckless driving. It is someone that is doing a donut that is peeling out, that is doing everything leading up to a street race.”
Fong says this remains a concern throughout the state, and calls for it have not slowed down.
“25,000 calls that the law enforcement has gotten CHP has seen a 300% surge in citations they've issued.”
Fong says he wants to give law enforcement every tool possible to detour this behavior so they can focus on other crimes.
“They want to be responding to the robberies, the violent crimes, but they're having to take resources that are already scarce and very precious and now having to dedicate it to combat illegal street racing.”
Here in Kern County, Sgt. Pair with the Bakersfield Police Department says in 2020 we arrested approximately 205 people for street racing offenses.
Fong wants consequences to be more severe, as outcomes are oftentimes tragic.
“We've had a number of families throughout the state of California who have approached us and share with us their heartbreaking stories of their teenage kids or their loved ones that have been killed on the roads.”
This bill has moved out of assembly and Fong says he is hopeful and optimistic that the bill will get through the Senate in the coming months, and eventually get to the governor's desk by the fall.