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Bill authored by Fong to curtail illegal street racing passes

The Assembly Transportation Committee passed Assembly Bill 3 on Monday, designed to curb illegal street racing locally and statewide.

The bill, which was authored by Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, will apply the penalties used against illegal speed racing and implement them against exhibitions of speed as well. Such exhibitions include the burning out of tires, revving of engines, performing stunts, and other activity intended for an audience or “sideshow” that ultimately leads to a speed contest, the news release stated.

The bill provides judges the authority to suspend an offending individual’s driver’s license for up to six months, according to the news release

Illegal street racing has emerged as a prevalent issue throughout Bakersfield and Kern County in recent years. It garnered significant headlines in November 2019 after a street racer struck a minivan in southwest Bakersfield. The accident killed the minivan's driver, Maria Blaney Navarro, 58, of Bakersfield, and seriously injured her two grandchildren.

“I authored this bill in response to what our local law enforcement officials have conveyed as a troubling trend throughout our community,” Fong said in a statement. “This dangerous activity of street racing and exhibition of speed has spiked tremendously statewide, leading to tragic accidents and senseless deaths of our youth. This bill sends a strong message that this illegal activity will not be tolerated.”