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By Vince Fong
Assemblyman 

Victims of street racing, law enforcement and supporters of Assemblyman Fong's AB 3 commemorate its signing

Assemblyman Vince Fong

 

October 23, 2021

Assemblyman Vince Fong

On Oct. 14, Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County) along with law enforcement officials, the Auto Club (AAA), victims and their families joined forces to educate the public of the signing of Assembly Bill 3, and to educate the public of the horrific pain caused by illegal street racing and sideshows.

"Illegal street racing and sideshows destroy innocent lives. Far too many families have lost loved-ones. This is 100% preventable," said Assemblyman Fong. "This law gives the courts another tool to curb these dangerous activities and sends a strong message that they will not be tolerated."

Specifically, AB 3 cracks down on illegal street racing by allowing courts to issue a driver's license suspension for up to six months for participating in dangerous sideshows. Fong's measure also assigns the first legal definition to "sideshow" in California statute – better equipping law enforcement to take action on dangerous sideshows.

Sarah Kandler, who lost her mother as a result of a street race said, "I'm so happy for AB 3 passing, and hope it brings awareness to how dangerous and the tragic impact street racing and illegal sideshows can cause."

Following the devastation of losing her daughter, Lili Trujillo founded Street Racing Kills to educate the public about the consequences of these dangerous activities.

"May no family ever suffer the loss of a loved one. Raising awareness for the voices that can no longer be heard.

"My family has never been the same since the death of my niece. Street racing and sideshows are not fun weekend activities. People die," said Lori Argumendo, also with Street Racing Kills. "AB 3 will help prevent more deaths."

"Speed kills. Recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found even modestly higher speeds at the time of a crash dramatically increase the chances of severe injury and death, as well as cancel out the benefits of vehicle safety features, like airbags. Illegal street racing is speeding on steroids, leading to tragic, and avoidable, deaths and injuries on California roads," said Auto Club (AAA) spokesperson Doug Shupe.

Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry echoed the warning.

"Illegal street racing and sideshow events are not victimless crimes and our community has repeatedly suffered tragic deaths as a result of these criminal acts. This legislation helped raise the awareness of the deadly consequences of illegal street racing and sideshow events. It also provides the justice system with another tool to help reduce these events which endanger the safety of innocent motorists and pedestrians."

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.

"The California Highway Patrol appreciates Assemblyman Fong's commitment to public safety and the work he has put into Assembly Bill 3," said CHP Chief Scott Parker. "We believe this bill will provide a strict deterrent to people who engage in sideshows and along with strict enforcement it will save lives on California highways."

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.

 
 

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