Assembly Bill 3, aimed to curb illegal street racing locally and statewide, advanced out of the California State Assembly on Thursday.
The bill, authored by Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Kern County, 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, according to a news release from Fong’s office.
The news release stated that the bill moved through the Assembly with “overwhelming bipartisan support.”
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 incident killed the minivan's driver, Maria Blaney Navarro, 58, of Bakersfield, and seriously injured her two grandchildren.
According to Thursday’s news release, there has been a sharp increase in street racing activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part because of fewer vehicles on the road.