Fresno officials unveil plan to address illegal street racing

Jessica Harrington Image
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Fresno officials unveil plan to address illegal street racing
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The city of Fresno is taking action to prevent dangerous street racing and sideshows this summer.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As summer rolls in, the Fresno Police Department is rolling out its Street Racing Enforcement Team.

Newly dedicated officers will be tracking down vehicles that are illegally modified and drivers engaging in street racing or sideshows.

Authorities say they want to drive the illegal activity out of Fresno.

A new video was released by the City of Fresno and the Fresno Police Department featuring Chief Paco Balderrama.

"The word is out. The Fresno Police Department is putting the brakes on street racing and sideshows," Balderrama says at the start of the video.

The new video was released to create awareness that officers are watching.

"If you're going to engage in one of these events, then we're going to be out there in full force to stop you to put you in jail, to take away your car." Balderrama said.

Fresno Police and the City of Fresno announced the launch of a new street racing enforcement team.

It's made up of two sergeants and ten motorcycle officers.

"Not in Fresno, and that is our message today, not in Fresno." Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said.

Mayor Dyer says the officers on the newly formed team are fully trained on how to enforce street racing and identify illegally modified cars.

Soon, spectators can also be cited for taking part.

A new ordinance will go into effect later this month that allows anyone caught participating in or promoting street racing and illegal sideshows to be fined $1,000 and charged with a misdemeanor.

"I don't care if it's 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., the public has the right to feel safe when on our neighborhood roads." Fresno Councilmember Mike Karbassi said.

Chief Balderrama says Fresno is a central place for street racers from other cities to gather.

That's why, in the last year, the department has completed four large-scale operations to improve safety on the streets.

More than 750 citations have been issued, and 276 vehicles were impounded.

Chief Paco Balderrama says, with this new team, that will be normal moving forward.

"We're going to flip that to where Fresno is the absolutely worst place that you want to come and do sideshows and street racing," Balderrama said.

Fresno has also launched a tip line specifically for street racing and sideshows.

You can submit any information or video you have by calling 621-RACE.

The police department has been working with the County of Fresno and the city of Clovis to prevent these events from just moving outside the city limits.

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