BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Law enforcement and local leaders will come together Friday morning for a panel on illegal street racing.
Officials say incidents are on the rise, with deadly consequences.
Assemblyman Vince Fong has been outspoken about the dangers of street racing, championing Assembly Bill 3, which increases the penalties for racing-related activities. He will headline the panel that also consists of Mayor Karen Goh and representatives from law enforcement agencies across Kern County.
The California Highway Patrol says street racing has increased sharply since the beginning of the pandemic. In Bakersfield, those contests have often turned deadly.
In 2019, mother Maria Navarro was killed and her two children were injured in a street racing crash. Last February, a head-on collision killed 19-year-old Bianca Flores.
“You can hear it all night,” Bakersfield resident Thomas Wilson said of street races in his neighborhood. “Engines revving, and people peeling out and stuff. It’s extremely unfortunate, someone had to lose their life over racing.”
In early May, more than 300 cars blocked intersections across Bakersfield for vehicle stunts. The group says they want to prevent stunts like these, which can lead to street racing.
The panel starts at 10 a.m. at Bakersfield Police headquarters on Truxtun Ave.