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Lawmakers ask for more money to protect public safety

Assemblyman Vince Fong

In their bipartisan effort to curb dangerous street racing and sideshows, Assemblymembers Vince Fong (R-Kern County) and Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) requested $5.5 million for the California Highway Patrol to enforce illegal sideshow activities.

"Too many lives have been harmed by illegal sideshows," said Assemblyman Fong, who authored Assembly Bill 3 last year to allow judges to suspense the driver's license of people convicted of engaging in sideshows. "These reckless activities draw crowds that result in serious injuries and fatalities. We must continue to support law enforcement to keep our streets safe."

Assemblyman Cooper, a former Sheriff's Captain, echoed the sentiments, "Sideshows continue to pose a serious threat to public safety and have largely gone unchecked in recent years. This budget request will be a valuable tool for law enforcement to crack down on these lawless dangerous acts."

The $5 million funding request is dedicated for the sole purpose of enforcement against illegal sideshows. It is an additional funding to support state and local task forces to end dangerous sideshow activities that have become a major public safety challenge for law enforcement officials and communities throughout the state.

Multi-agency sideshow enforcement operations with both state and local partners have been effective at preventing sideshows, as they are able to dedicate staff and resources specifically for this purpose.

Fong and Cooper are also asking for $500,000 for the CHP to inform and educate the public on the dangers of these illegal activities.

Law enforcement agencies have recently seen a major uptick in sideshow events, as these underground activities usually occur at night.

Founder of Street Racing Kills, Lili Trujillo Puckett said, "Enforcement of sideshows will be lifesaving, and young people need to learn about the devastating impacts of speed racing and sideshows."

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.