Valley law enforcement, leaders working to crack down on street racing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In his 38 years of living in his Fresno home, Assemblyman Jim Patterson says the last two or three have been loud and deadly because people decide to have sideshows and street races in the community.

Friday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol, along with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, Fresno Police Department, Triple-A and lawmakers, joined to raise awareness of the danger this activity poses and the work in place to end it.

In 2021, CHP responded to over 25,000 calls compared to only 3,500 in 2020.

"These types of incidents often lead to violent vehicle collisions resulting in loss of life to participates, innocent bystanders and users of the road," says CHP Chief Ceto Ortiz.

Assemblyman Vince Fong took action to write AB 3 last year, a law that allows judges to suspend a driver's license for six months for those who participate in street shows.

"It's the first time that we've defined side shows in state law, so it's a step in the right direction," he said.

Fong is also pushing for the approval of $5.5 million in state funding for the proper enforcement.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says the unity within law enforcement agencies and leaders will go a long way and wants to remind people not to engage in these illegal acts ahead of summer.

"These are kids who barely have enough experience to have a driver's license, and this is not okay," he said. "We use technology and we will continue the operations. The goal is to make the Central Valley the most unattractive place to come and do street racing."

CHP says if you ever find yourself in the middle of a street race to remain in your car and call 911 immediately.

Parents are also being asked to remind their kids not to participate in street races.
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