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Fong's bill to curb illegal street racing and 'sideshows' passes unanimously

Assemblyman Vince Fong

Devastated by her mother's tragic and untimely death as a result of illegal street racing, Sarah Kandler of Bakersfield traveled to Sacramento to testify before the Senate Transportation Committee in support of Assemblyman Vince Fong's (R-Kern County) legislation.

Today, June 15, Assembly Bill 3 passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously. AB 3 (Fong) aims to curb illegal street racing by stopping it at its source: motor vehicle exhibition of speed. Exhibition of speed is most commonly recognized as "sideshows" that include: drifting, performing stunts, donuts and other activities performed at dangerous speeds to show off an audience.

"This reckless behavior haunts our streets, claims innocent lives, and puts commuters, bikers, pedestrians and law enforcement at fatal risk," Assemblyman Fong said. "Street racing and speed exhibition has spiked tremendously statewide. This bill sends a strong message that this dangerous activity will not be tolerated."

"In November of 2019, I received the most terrifying and consequential phone call that changed my family's life forever," Sarah Kandler said. "My mom, Peggy Kandler, was struck by a driver who had lost control of their vehicle during an illegal street race."

Kandler added, "The crash scene was horrifying. I will never forget seeing so vividly how much damage street racing and sideshows can cause. My mom's car was mangled, and the damage was so significant, the first responders had to use a 'jaws of life' to cut open the vehicle to reach my mom."

"The startling reality is: you can find tragic street racing stories in the newspaper every day of the week across California. Every single one of these crashes are preventable," said Fong.

Specifically, AB 3 matches the penalties that apply to illegal speed contests racing to also apply to the exhibition of speed. The penalty grants the court the authority to suspend the offending individual's driver's license for up to six months.

According to the California Highway Patrol, citations for Motor Vehicle Exhibition of Speed have surged by nearly 300 percent over the past five years. Locally, the Bakersfield Police Department reported over 6,000 calls involving speed exhibition and street racing last year alone.

AB 3 is supported by statewide law enforcement, victims' rights groups and local government. AB 3 will be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee in the coming weeks.

The AB 3 presentation in the Senate Transportation committee can be viewed here http://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=178274917570552.