Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Assemblyman Fong's bill to crack down on illegal sideshows heads to Governor's desk

Assemblyman Vince Fong

On September 9, Assembly Bill 3, authored by Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County), cleared the California State Legislature unanimously and is now headed to the Governor's desk for final approval. AB 3 aims to crack down on illegal street racing by allowing courts to issue a driver's license suspension for up to six months for participating in sideshows.

"Illegal street racing and sideshows wreak havoc in our communities, draw permanent damage to our roads, and claim innocent lives," Assemblyman Fong said. "This bill gives law enforcement an additional tool to curb reckless sideshows and sends a strong message that this dangerous activity will not be tolerated."

As defined in AB 3, "sideshows" occur when two or more vehicles block or impede traffic on a highway, for the purpose of performing vehicle stunts, speed contests, or reckless driving, for an audience.

"Given the dangers of sideshows, the consequences are unpredictable and often tragic - many leading to violence, bystander injuries and senseless deaths of our youth," Fong said. "Every single street racing crash is devastating and every single street racing crash is preventable."

Last year alone, the California Highway Patrol responded to over 25,000 calls involving illegal street racing activity. The Bakersfield Police Department fielded over 6,000 calls involving illegal street racing activity in 2020.

Spearheaded by Assemblyman Vince Fong, AB 3 was co-authored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-San Fernando Valley), Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) and Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park).

AB 3 is supported by a large coalition of statewide law enforcement, local government, victims' rights groups and traffic safety groups. AB 3 will be presented to the Governor for final approval in the coming days.

The Governor has until October 10, 2021 to either veto or sign AB 3 into law.

Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th Assembly District, encompassing most of Kern County including the communities of Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, China Lake, Frazier Park, Golden Hills, Inyokern, Lebec, Oildale, Ridgecrest, Taft and Tehachapi.